the bigger the city, the more organized the chaos

New York city is home to well over 8 million people (over 1.5 million in Manhattan alone). Add to this the millions of people that visit the city as tourists every year and that is a whole lotta people. In a city with this many people, a percentage of these people are bound to be a little clueless or lacking in common sense, hence the need for signs, alot of signs, I mean a WHOLE LOTTA SIGNS.

Signs help organise the masses and keep the flow of traffic (human, vehicular and other modes of transport) moving. Without them, their would be people going fisticuffs on running paths, in the parks and on the sidewalks.  People in close quarters in cities are people under pressure.

Our first day in New York we headed down to the reservoir with an exhausted Monkey #1 in his stroller. From the markings “No dogs. No bikes. No carriages” we surmised that ‘carriages’ referred to strollers. What makes me laugh about this sign is that people look at me funny and totally uncomprehending when I use the term ‘pram’ when referring to a stroller (the more common term in New Zealand), yet somehow we are suppose to know what a carriage is.  The main takeaway point is that only people either walking or running are allowed on this track. On any given day, this track is very busy, add to it tourists stopping to take photos. It would be challenging without these restrictions.

ambient signage around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onnassis Reservoir in Central Park

At first, I chuckled at the excessive amount of signs but I’ve now come to understand the need for them. In fact, I am a sign snob. If someone is running in the wrong direction I feel the need to give them the evil eye. Don’t they see the signs? They are everywhere. Big Monkey took off for a run around the reservoir and felt that something was not quite right. He was running in the wrong direction. No one actually said anything to him about it, he just felt the surge of people going against him. You see, my man has not only common sense, but a sense of what is going on around him, so he turned around and followed the flow of the crowd. A little confused as to why the direction was anti-clockwise, but happy nonetheless to do his part in minimizing chaos 😉

Walk or run this direction sign in Central Park

Signs tell you which way to run/walk around the reservoir.

you would think many of these rules are obvious, but you can never assume...

signage overload. Oh, right, I thought bike lanes were for something else.

I’d love to actually see the “don’t honk” signs enforced. We have several of these on our street, but still morning rush hour traffic always brings out the impatient driver who is too heavy handed on the horn. I’d love if this sign came with the ability to hand out citizen’s arrests or citizen’s tickets if there is such a thing.

dog waste laws

in my opinion, more of these signs are needed

Oh New York, you have big city chaos control down to an art. Wonder what other big cities do to keep the pressure cooker from blowing.



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KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »