How to Get Your Street Name Changed in Six Easy Steps

By Jake Becker

Written by Jake Becker. Illustrations by Thad Komorowski.
Written by Jake Becker. Illustrations by Thad Komorowski.

STEP 1
STEP 1

Put the person you’d like to have a street co-named after through our game to see how likely it is for your co-naming to happen. If your subject is qualified, congrats! But get ready to canvass some locals.

STEP 2
STEP 2

You’ll need signatures (online or in-person) from at least 75% of residents and/or business people on the specific block, including their addresses. So if the block has 153 units, your petition will need a minimum of 115 signatures of support.

STEP 3
STEP 3

Once you’ve got that under your belt, you’ll need to bring your petition to the local Community Board’s Traffic & Transportation Committee, along with the board’s specific application (here’s an example).

It will take the committee a month on average to look over your application to make sure it falls under the board’s guidelines. If the board gives the green light, it goes through lengthy deliberations before the entire board.

STEP 4
STEP 4

You’ve got the board’s thumbs-up, but now it must travel to the city’s legislative body: the New York City Council.

STEP 5
STEP 5

The City Council does a further background check, where a council member has to give a detailed report on who or what your subject is. If there’s any controversy over the proposed name change, the Speaker’s Leadership team takes a final look. The City Council then votes, but it’s only twice a year at varying dates, so plan accordingly!

STEP 6
STEP 6

Technically, the mayor has the power to veto a new street co-naming, but since that happens so rarely, you should be good to go!

The Finished Product
The Finished Product

The city’s Department of Transportation will put up a new sign, usually within six months.

Now you can see how all your hard work has paid off. Not bad, eh?

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