34th Street

Streetscape

Newsrack Program Looks Forward

Systematized approach will help reduce number of individual newsracks on the streets.

It’s a seemingly intractable problem: the proliferation of poorly maintained individual newsboxes defacing the sidewalks in urban neighborhoods such as the 34th Street District. 34th Street Partnership has worked for years to reduce the number of these eyesores, and this has proved to be a tough nut indeed. So when Craig LaCaruba, Vice President, Capital Projects, was asked to take on the problem, he decided that a holistic approach was the only way. He selected Project Director Dave Martin, who has over five years of experience reengineering streetscape elements, to take the lead.

The ultimate solution to the problem is deceptively simple: convince publishers to forgo their own individual newsboxes and place publications in attractive multi-publication newsracks designed by Vice President, Design, Ignacio Ciocchini. LaCaruba and Martin realized that to present the best possible case to publishers, 34th Street Partnership needed to offer options that met publishers’ varied needs, and ensure that boxes would be kept in pristine condition.

The first stage of the program was to systematically repair and refurbish the 35 multi-unit newsracks in the district. The management team used in-house staff to complete the work rather than hiring outside contractors, effectively reducing costs and improving the quality of work. To chart progress, LaCaruba and Martin created a detailed mapping and inspection system.

They then went to work implementing new ideas to appeal to publishers. The 34th Street team modified units to drastically reduce maintenance, and designed three additional newsbox options to better showcase certain papers. New configurations of the multi-publication newsracks were designed and fabricated, and will soon be placed in the field for testing. Two of these configurations incorporate storage compartments for the wire racks that so many newspaper publishers use for distribution.

This holistic approach to the newsrack program will provide us with a very strong case when we present to publishers later this summer. Our goal is to see sidewalks free of any individual newsboxes and wire racks; to have our own multi-publication racks 100% utilized; and to satisfy publishers' desire to promote their brand and reach their target audience.

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