January 10, 2012Interactive Online Tool Maps Street Closures Due to Road Work and Special Events
Future Enhancements to Include Parking Regulations and More
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn today launched NYC Street Closures, the City’s new online mapping application for displaying street closure information across the five boroughs. The tool, available on NYC.gov, provides details about current and planned full street closures obstructing normal vehicular traffic due to road work, street fairs, block parties, special events or parades, and allows users to conduct searches based on date, time, and location. Created by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management (CECM), the Department of Transportation (DOT), in conjunction with City Council Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Daniel Garodnick, NYC Street Closures leverages the innovative NYCityMap platform common across many City mapping applications, and complies with Local Law 32 of 2011, passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bloomberg last May. The idea for adding street closure information to the map was first introduced by Speaker Quinn in her 2011 State of the City address.
“Since 2006, the City’s interactive map, or NYCityMap, has been an invaluable resource for New Yorkers to get up-to-the-minute information about our City”, said Mayor Bloomberg. “Working together with Speaker Quinn and the City Council, we have enhanced the information available for New Yorkers planning their commutes. Adding street closure information to our online resources is yet another example of our efforts to make City services and information more accessible to the public.”
“This tool will offer relief for New Yorkers by showing exactly which streets are closed on any given date, at any time,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “With this information literally at their fingertips, New Yorkers will be better equipped to navigate the city. No matter how large or small, when government listens to the concerns of its citizens and works to solve their problems, everyone wins. In this instance, I want to thank the Mayor, Council Member Garodnick, DoITT, CECM, and DOT for listening and for working on behalf of all New Yorkers to make their lives a little easier.”
“With NYC Street Closures, New Yorkers are just a few clicks away from useful information to help inform their travels across the five boroughs,” said DoITT Commissioner Post. “This is the latest in a series of in-house developed applications we’ve launched that use innovative tools – in this case our NYCityMap platform – to help tackle persistent issues. Using technology to help the City operate more effectively and efficiently is a fundamental part of improving the way New Yorkers live, work and play.”
“NYC Street Closures speaks to the core mission of CECM, which is to improve coordination amongst permitting agencies and customer service to the public,” said CECM Executive Director Cristin D. Burtis. “We are excited to share the internal improvements that CECM had made to the permitting process with the public so that New Yorkers can better plan their travels.”
“From online traffic cameras and parking regulations to real-time traffic and transit information on PDAs, we’re using technology to make our streets more accessible than ever,” said DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “NYC Street Closures is another great initiative to put more information into New Yorkers’ hands to help navigate our streets.”
“We all know how frustrating it can be to wake up and find your street has been unexpectedly blocked off for a street fair, a parade, or any other event,” said Council Member Garodnick, the author of the bill that created this online tool. “The least we can do is make sure that New Yorkers know in advance what is happening out there. This online tool will give all of us a chance to find the events when we want them, and to avoid them when we don't.”
“This is yet another step toward making New Yorkers’ lives easier,” said Chair of the Council Committee on Transportation James Vacca. “Having street closures posted in an interactive format online for anyone to look up will help reduce traffic congestion in those areas, and that will help New Yorkers get from point A to point B faster and more efficiently. I’m proud of the role the Transportation Committee and its members, including Council Member Garodnick, have played in this ongoing effort.”
On any given day, New York City’s streets and public spaces play host to special events, block parties, parades, park events, film shoots, and road improvements. Each of these events is permitted by one or more City agencies, in coordination with the local community boards, the Police Department, and Business Improvement Districts. Through NYC Street Closures, information about these events is brought together online for the first time in one place and represented on a searchable map. NYC Street Closures’ user-friendly interface lets New Yorkers enter any date, time, or location within the five boroughs and access a searchable map and table of all full street and intersection closures in and around the selected location. Clicking on any highlighted section will open a small window on the map providing the user with details about the closure. And an accompanying listing lets users toggle between CECM-permitted street activities and DOT-permitted street closures for crane/paving operations and other construction work, as well as to sort by street, cross streets, borough, purpose, duration for which the street is closed, and contact information of the permitted parties.
Later this year, the NYC Street Closures tool will be enhanced to include information about film shoots, parks events, and DOT parking regulations significantly impacting the public.
To develop NYC Street Closures, DoITT worked with CECM to integrate the mapping function of its Citywide Event Management System, or CEMS, into a publicly-accessible, interactive tool. CEMS is a centralized hub to facilitate coordination of permit processing among more than 700 users from multiple City agencies. By bringing together formerly disparate systems, CEMS allows these agencies to view at a glance when a street fair is located near scheduled road work, or when a special event may conflict with a parade, so that agencies can work together to resolve those conflicts before they impact the public. CEMS also includes an online permitting application allowing applicants to submit permit requests electronically – and without standing on line. By the end of 2011, CEMS will have captured approximately 20,000 permits applied for over the course of the year, a number expected to double by the end of 2012.
DoITT is the City’s Information Technology (IT) utility, ensuring the sustained, efficient delivery of IT services, infrastructure and telecommunications. In 2000, DoITT assumed responsibility for maintenance of the City’s basemap, which has served as the platform for a series of applications DoITT has since developed for the public to access on NYC.gov, including notably NYCityMap. NYCityMap is built using an innovative framework that DoITT has standardized across all City mapping applications to achieve greater efficiencies with current staffing. This framework, leveraging open source software solutions, provides common functionality to City agencies allowing them to shorten the development lifecycle on mapping applications of their own.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine
Jamie McShane (Council)
Nick Sbordone (DoITT)
Seth Solomonow (NYC DOT)