Monday, June 14, 2010

Sidewalk Graffiti Provides Navigational Assistance For Subway Commuters

A considerate cartographer wielding a stencil and a can of spray paint has left a helpful navigational compass at the top of the stairs outside the NRW train at Prince Street for commuters exiting the station. As even native New Yorkers cant attest, everyone has exited a subway station and needed a moment to reorient themselves; a directional compass will make it that much easier. The unknown compass crusader stenciled the sidewalk at the uptown 6 train station on Spring Street as well.

[UPDATE: Spotted one at the uptown 6 Bleeker Street station as well.] [UPDATE: 06.21.10: Our anonymous cartographer has been busy, the compasses are appearing all over town.]

Using sidewalk compasses is an idea that has been tried before by both official and unofficial sources. In 2006, a blogger snapped a photo of a compass on the sidewalk at the 8th Street L station; someone else caught one on Bleecker. The City of New York's Department of Transportation got in on the act in 2007, installing compass decals in the ground at selected stations around midtown, in a pilot program that doesn't seem to have been continued.

Below, see the decal on Spring St. at the uptown 6 train station.

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