Sidewalk sheds, New York City's most splintery invasive species, blanket sidewalks around construction and maintenance sites to the point of invisibility. Now, the Department of Buildings is taking steps to chart their 280 mile spread, across 7,700 buildings, with a new interactive map of all active sidewalk sheds as of February 2017.

The map includes filters for size and age, and color coding for various purposes: red indicates sheds installed to protect pedestrians from unsafe building conditions. Light blue indicates repairs, dark blue new construction, and green building maintenance. Look at all those dandelions!

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(via DOB)

The New York Times has a thorough breakdown of the shed debate today: shop and restaurant owners decry them as an eyesore, while landlords say City Council legislation to remove them in a matter of months would force them to rush repairs they can't afford.

The DOB told the paper that they hope the map will help inspectors enforce sidewalk shed rules. Sheds are supposed to be permitted, for example, and come down as soon as work is complete, though they often linger. But the DOB stressed in a statement that sheds are a mandatory safety measure. The city is hardly poised for a shed-eradication rampage.

"Sidewalk sheds are a necessary evil: they're ugly, but they're required by law to keep pedestrians safe," said DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler.

A girl can dream.