Wayfinding Program Overview

WalkNYC is New York City’s wayfinding system. The system is a collection of maps and signs to help you find your way around the city.

A man carrying an orange backpack walks on a wide sidewalk, past a tall sign with two maps on it
Medium WalkNYC Pedestrian Sign

The WalkNYC wayfinding signs are easy to use by pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. WalkNYC maps and signs use limited text, a clear layout, and universal icons.

Most WalkNYC signs are on sidewalks, at Citi Bike stations or ferry terminals, and inside subway stations. The WalkNYC map design is also used for the NYC Bike Map and NYC & Co.’s Official Map of New York City.

Types of Wayfinding

Pedestrian Signs

  • Installed on sidewalks and in plazas
  • Maps provide neighborhood information, such as street names, mass transit, museums and other neighborhood amenities
  • Small, medium, and large signs with maps
  • Fingerpost signs point in the direction of key destinations at locations where maps are not needed
  • Developed and maintained by NYC DOT
Two people look at a map on a tall, narrow sign on a sidewalk, while yellow taxis drive by
Small WalkNYC Pedestrian Sign
On a wide sidewalk, a group of people look at a tall sign maps on it
Medium WalkNYC Pedestrian Sign
Outside a park on a wide sidewalk, a group of people look at a tall, wide sign with a neighborhood map
Large WalkNYC Pedestrian Sign
Directional signs are posted on the top of a narrow pole, positioned in front of a business in NYC
Fingerpost Sign

Bus Signs

  • Installed at bus stops
  • Provide maps and real time bus arrival information on digital displays
  • Maps provide bus routes and local neighborhood information
  • Developed and maintained by NYC DOT
At a bus stop, people look at a tall sign with maps and a digital display of arrival times for buses
WalkNYC Bus Sign

Subway Station Neighborhood Maps

  • Located inside subway stations
  • Provide the same information as pedestrian maps with lighter colors for indoor viewing
  • Developed by NYC DOT
  • Installed and maintained by New York City Transit
A man stands in a NYC subway station and looks at two large map posters hanging on the station wall
WalkNYC Subway Station Neighborhood Map

Citi Bike Station Maps

  • Located on bike share station kiosks
  • Provide a larger map area to show bike lane network and Citi Bike stations
  • Developed by NYC DOT
  • Installed and maintained by Citi Bike
Citi Bike station with a solar panel and large neighborhood map is installed on a colorful street mural
Citi Bike Station WalkNYC Map

NYC Ferry Maps

  • Located at NYC Ferry landings
  • Provide the same information as pedestrian maps and includes NYC Ferry shuttle service information, if available
  • Developed by NYC DOT
  • Installed and maintained by NYC EDC
A walkNYC sign is posted near a ferry landing
NYC Ferry WalkNYC sign

Map Design

WalkNYC maps use easy-to-understand pictures (icons) to represent important locations on the map. Examples of these include: bathrooms, wheelchair ramps, stairs, libraries, post offices, and playgrounds. The icons help speakers of any language understand the maps.

WalkNYC maps show what you are seeing directly in front of you, and make it quick and easy to understand where you are and what is to the left, right, and behind you as well. This is called “heads-up” mapping.

    All WalkNYC maps show basic information such as:
  • “You are here” icons
  • Walk times
  • Street names
  • Major parks
  • Major landmarks such as large public buildings, hospitals or museums
  • Subway stops, train stations, airports, and ferry landings
  • Pedestrian and bicycle routes over bridges or on greenways

WalkNYC signs usually include two maps - one that shows a smaller distance and one that shows a larger distance.

Smaller Distance WalkNYC Map

    The smaller distance WalkNYC maps show locations that you can walk to within five to seven minutes of the sign. These maps are helpful for exploring the neighborhood or finding specific locations. Besides the basic information, these maps also include:
  • Building addresses
  • Pathways inside parks
  • Neighborhood landmarks like schools or statues
  • Neighborhood amenities like post offices
  • Stairs, ramps and elevators
Colorful map of the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, shows where subway stations are located as well as other neighborhood amenities such as bike lanes, restrooms and historic landmarks
Smaller Distance WalkNYC Map

Larger Distance WalkNYC Map

    The larger distance WalkNYC maps show locations that you can walk to within 15 minutes of the sign. They are helpful for planning longer walks, bike rides, or trips using public transportation. Besides the basic information, these maps also include:
  • Subway routes
  • Select Bus Service (SBS) routes
  • Surrounding neighborhoods
Graphic of a map showing streets and bike lanes in Lower Manhattan. Icons and text highlight where you are standing, and what’s within a 15 minute walk
Larger Distance WalkNYC Map

Sign Locations

    WalkNYC pedestrian signs are installed citywide on sidewalks and in plazas. Often located in areas that are:
  • Busy pedestrian corridors
  • Near subway stations and other transportation hubs
  • Key decision-making points for pedestrians
  • Popular destinations
  • Difficult-to-navigate areas

Siting guidelines and placement details are provided in the NYC DOT Street Design Manual: WalkNYC sign specifications General guidelines for installing WalkNYC signs on sidewalks

Four DOT crew members in bright safety jacket install a tall metal frame on a sidewalk, near the curb.
NYC DOT crews install a Small Pedestrian Sign

Report a Problem with a Wayfinding Sign

Contact WalkNYC

If you have questions or comments about wayfinding signs, please email us at walknyc@dot.nyc.gov.