Last year, New York City finally started installing new parking signs designed to be less confusing and cheaper to produce than the old ones.
There’s still room for improvement.
Nikki Sylianteng is a freelance designer, illustrator, and researcher who took it upon herself to find a better way to convey the simple information: When can you park your car? How long can you stay? She settled on a “timechart-based” system, explaining on her website:
My strategy was to visualise the blocks of time when parking is allowed and not allowed. I kept everything else the same — the colours and the form factor — as my intention with this redesign is to show how big a difference a thoughtful, though conservative and low budget, approach can make in terms of time and stress saved for the driver.
Here’s the final product:
It’s easy to use: Just check the day and time, and see if parking is allowed, and for how long. We’d suggest breaking up the Monday-Friday block, since on many streets, parking isn’t allowed on Tuesday and Friday mornings, for example. But that wouldn’t be a major change.
To get some feedback, Sylianteng tested them “guerrilla-style,” putting them up with room for feedback. The response she posted online is quite good:
Now we have to see if Polly Trottenberg, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice to run the City’s Department of Transportation, wants to make the change.
For reference, here are the signs that NYC unveiled last year (compared to the old signs):
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