Streetscape | Downtown Alliance


Making the streets of Lower Manhattan more attractive and convenient for pedestrians is a top priority for the Downtown Alliance. 

Broadway Streetscape Program

The Downtown Alliance's $20 million streetscape program has given lower Broadway a sophisticated new look that is contemporary yet classic. Recognized by the Art Commission of the City of New York for its unique style and elegance, 26 blocks have been transformed to be more inviting and contemporary. Elements include:

  • Reconstruction of all the sidewalks and curbs along lower Broadway
  • 81 Pedestrian (“P”) light poles, recently converted to energy-efficient LED bulbs to provide Broadway with bright and welcoming lighting
  • Street furniture including protective bollards, bike racks, and sign poles, all in our signature black and silver design
  • User-friendly wayfinding and a districtwide street sign system
  • Granite markers commemorating all ticker-tape parades up lower Broadway

This Broadway Streetscape Program was made possible in part by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which was funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Street Furniture

Including the elements of the Broadway streetscape program, the Alliance maintains nearly 1,300 pieces of street furniture and signage throughout the district including: illuminated and traditional street signs, park signs, informational signs for our local attractions, Bigbelly solar compactors, and traditional trash cans.

Wayfinding System

Lower Manhattan's narrow, winding streets still follow patterns laid out by 17th-century Dutch colonists. While these streets retain their charm, navigation can be a challenge. The Downtown Alliance makes it easier for everyone to find their way with a user-friendly wayfinding system. Our wayfinding system consists of three main components: iconic street signs, signs providing directions to major landmarks and subways, and Heritage Trail markers and district maps.

Street Signs
The old green-and-white street signs have been replaced with elegant black-and-white signs. These signs contain the street name and range of address numbers on each block and feature photo images representing iconic Lower Manhattan landmarks. As you walk the streets of Lower Manhattan, the images change to represent the landmark or attraction that is closest. Since 2015, the Downtown Alliance has been installing illuminated street name signs, in the same iconic black-and-white style, along the Broadway, Water Street and Trinity/Church/Greenwich corridors. These illuminated signs provide enhanced visibility to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

Wayfinding Signs
Wayfinding signs are mounted on poles and freestanding four-sided orientation signs are installed at key locations along Broadway. The bold, easy-to-spot, black-and-white signs include the photo image, names, subway symbols, and associated directional arrows. In collaboration with the Department of Transportation, a new wayfinding system ("WalkNYC") is being installed throughout Lower Manhattan. This new system provides "heads-up mapping" in which north, east, south, and west are rotated to be consistent with the direction the user is facing.

Heritage Trail Markers and WalkNYC Maps
Lower Manhattan is filled with dozens of famous monuments and landmarks. To call greater attention to the district’s architectural wonders and historic sites, the Downtown Alliance maintains 24 Heritage Trail Markers in front of some of Lower Manhattan's most culturally significant places, explaining why each site is historically important. Selected markers also feature DOT’s WalkNYC maps to help orient pedestrians. Some examples: 

  • Federal Hall, where President George Washington was inaugurated
  • The Woolworth Building, one of New York's most elegant skyscrapers
  • Trinity Church, with its historic burial ground