Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Social Distancing Sidewalk Map

The mayor of New York Bill de Blasio seems strangely opposed to making New York safer for its many pedestrians. During the current pandemic New Yorkers have been worried about the difficult of maintaining social distancing while walking to the grocery store or while out exercising. It has been suggested that the obvious answer is to give over some road space to pedestrians. Bill de Blasio has so far rejected this idea.

So, while pedestrians in New York are forced to stick to the sidewalks, the Sidewalks Widths map should be very useful. This interactive map colors New York City's sidewalks based on how wide they are. It uses New York City's Sidewalk dataset to show where it is possible to maintain social distancing while walking in the city and where social distancing is impossible.

Sidewalks on the map are colored to show whether social distancing is possible. Blue colored sidewalks are the widest and indicate a sidewalk where social distancing should be easy. Green sidewalks are less wide but still wide enough so that social distancing should be possible. Red sidewalks are narrower than 10 feet and show where a path is too narrow to practice social distancing. If you hover over a sidewalk on the map you can view its width in feet.

All the map needs now is a routing engine so that users can get walking directions with a safest route option (the one with the widest possible sidewalks).

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