urban planning

Heel-Friendly Sidewalk Grates Will Save Shoes, Lives

Jessica Simpson's brush with death.
Jessica Simpson’s brush with death. Photo: James Devaney/WireImage

An urban nightmare: You’re walking down the street, doing an “I’m hot shit in high heels” strut, and you have to go over one of those sidewalk grates, and you get your heel stuck. Then, while you’re doing some sort of awkward half-squat in the middle of the street to free yourself, the grate gives way, and you plunge to your death in the New York City subway. (That, or a hot gust of subway air blows your dress up and exposes your thong.)

Thankfully, while working on the East Side Access transportation hub, New York’s MTA workers are taking a page from the Condé Nast School of Urban Planning: design the city with women’s footwear in mind. According to Gothamist, the MTA plans to install “high-heel friendly grate … made with slip-resistant surfaces and the openings between the cross-bars are only ½ inch wide.”

Some of these magical grates have already been installed on the Upper East Side, the neighborhood with the city’s highest concentration of Louboutin traffic.

Heel-Friendly Sidewalk Grates Will Save Shoes