As of this week, New York City is home to 7,342 sidewalk sheds, totaling nearly 270 miles of sprawling eye-sores. Although this may sound like a lot, the number of sidewalk sheds has actually decreased from last year, when the Department of Buildings found over 7,700 sidewalk sheds throughout the city. The DOB on Wednesday released a new map highlighting the exact location of permitted sidewalk sheds. The map, which will update automatically in real-time, has a new feature that allows users to search sidewalk sheds by age, borough, community board and permit applicant.
The city requires temporary sidewalk sheds at any construction project as a way to protect pedestrians from potential falling debris. Property owners have to install a shed when constructing a building more than 40 feet high, or demolishing a building more than 25 feet high. In response to the city’s development boom, the DOB created the online system to track the increasing number of these structures.
“We are excited to deliver another data-driven tool to help New Yorkers learn more about our city’s built environment, and to help DOB improve our service to the public,” Rick Chandler, the commissioner of DOB, said in a statement. “Real-time mapping not only increases our ability to monitor structures such as sidewalk sheds, but also shows how we are harnessing technology to hold building owners accountable.”
Blue dots represent the location of an active sidewalk shed, and its size dictates its age. The bigger the dot, the more days it has existed. According to the department, the average age of sidewalk sheds in the city hovers around 293 days.
Unsurprisingly, Manhattan contains the highest number of sidewalk sheds, at roughly 3,400. There are about 2,000 in Brooklyn, around 900 each in the Queens and the Bronx and just 61 on Staten Island.
Explore the DOB’s sidewalk shed map here.
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