FINALLY New York is catching on the to the demands of tourists and Gothamists alike.

Sidewalk Compass

The demand: Some way-finding device placed at the top of subway entrances so people can (re)orient themselves when entering a strange neighborhood.

The result: A pilot scheme to place full-colour decals on the sidewalk indicating the compass directions, as well as which streets are nearby.

According to a post I saw on HOW Magazine, New York is taking the lead from random graffiti artists/logical residents and pointing the way. This is a great way to clear the human clutter that often appears at the top of the stairs, especially in a neighborhood that has restaurants, bars, shops and other things you might not visit everyday. Even though I live here in Brooklyn, I find myself turned around quite frequently, even at stations with I am familiar. That’s not to mention the seemingly countless number of subway stops which I have never visited. Apartment hunting taught me a thing or two about getting disoriented.

My only gripe with this project is simply to ask why they need colour decals when a simple stencil and spraypaint will function. Ok, maybe outside of Rockefeller Center they’ll make a nice brass plate, but in the South Bronx the aesthetic is a bit confused.

Sidewalk Compass Sign

Or, they could simply borrow from the existing Subway aesthetic, and make a simple, matching, sign. I don’t think anyone would be upset to see something like this at their feet.