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New York City's Streets: A 24/7 Sisyphean Task

How the city manages the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles

By Plantera Digital Media Published 15 days ago 4 min read
How the city is working to keep its streets safe, clean, and efficient for everyone

Each day, the city plays host to an intricate dance of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. In fact, 27 percent of the city's total land mass is dedicated to streets, a far greater percentage than even infamously car-heavy Los Angeles. New York just has more of everything, right? More pedestrians, more traffic, more trucks, more cyclists, more bus riders than anywhere else. And everybody who steps on the city street needs a safe road.

Keeping on top of repairs, traffic management, cleaning, and adjustments for bike or bus lanes is a 24/7 sisyphean task, ever necessary and never ending. Recent movements to minimize private cars in favor of bikes, buses, and walking have gained support, but regardless of what modes of transit fill them, streets won't become any less critical to keep the city running smoothly, or as smoothly as can be expected.

It's our responsibility to deliver streets that are safe, whether you're walking, biking, driving, taking a motorized unicycle, or anything else. Here's how New York keeps hustling and bustling by maintaining, managing, and reimagining its roads.


A fleet of mechanical brooms like these work year-round to collect trash that lands in the streets: bottles, bodega receipts, dollar slice pizza crusts, you name it. So if sanitation workers like Chris weren't constantly patrolling the streets, the city would be a filthy mess.

In addition to the mechanical brooms, the city also has a team of street sweepers who use large trucks to collect trash and debris from the streets. The street sweepers also spray the streets with water to help keep them clean and free of dust.


The city's roads are constantly in need of repair. Potholes, cracks, and other hazards can make streets dangerous for everyone. The city's Department of Transportation (DOT) has a team of crews that work year-round to repair roads.

The DOT uses a variety of methods to repair roads, including patching, milling, and repaving. Patching is a quick and easy way to repair small potholes. Milling is a more involved process that involves removing a layer of asphalt from the road and then replacing it with a new layer. Repaving is the most expensive option, but it also provides the most durable repair.

Traffic management

The city's traffic is constantly changing, and the DOT has to constantly adjust traffic signals to keep things moving. The DOT also has a team of traffic engineers who work to design and implement new traffic calming measures, such as bike lanes and pedestrian plazas.

Traffic calming measures are designed to slow down traffic and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Some common traffic calming measures include speed bumps, chicanes, and raised crosswalks.

Reimagining the streets

The city is constantly reimagining its streets. In recent years, there has been a push to make streets more pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly. The city has added new bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, and it has made it easier for people to walk and bike around the city.

The city is also working to reduce the number of cars on the streets. The DOT has a goal of reducing car traffic by 25 percent by 2030. The city is doing this by making it easier for people to get around without a car, such as by expanding public transit and improving bike infrastructure.

New York City's streets are a vital part of the city's infrastructure. The city is working hard to keep them safe, clean, and efficient. The city is also working to make streets more pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly. The city's goal is to create a city where everyone can get around safely and easily, regardless of how they choose to travel.

In addition to the above, the city is also working to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in the city. The city is planting more trees, creating more parks, and improving public spaces. The city is also working to make the city more energy-efficient and sustainable.

The city's efforts to improve its streets are a sign of its commitment to creating a better city for everyone. The city is working hard to make New York City a more livable, sustainable, and equitable city.


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