Yes indeed it's bad, but you've come to the right place to improve the look.
I have alot of questions and some initial reactions first before making recommendations.
What is the purpose of this map?
Where will it be used?
Print or web or both?
Who is your intended audience?
What are the final dimensions?
If I understand correctly this is just one small section of your overall city map, correct? If so, I am assuming you already have standard items in place such as the city name, legend key explaining what the colors mean, a compass rose showing north directional? It's tough to understand this map since it may be out of context of a larger picture.
Roads: Right now the road names are tough to read being black on a darker gray and squeezed inside a narrow width. The black stroke contributes to the tough legibility of the road labels as well. One of the key factors in communicating information on maps is readability of text. Creating contrast between colors improves this. Size and placement and kerning all factor in too. But all your roads are about the same width. Hard to imagine they all are skinny little roads like that.
Sidewalks? I'm not sure what the cream color around each road is. Is that area sidewalks? If so, some of the sidewalks are actually wider than the roads. Are sidewalks really needed in this map? They are creating a vibrant effect that is coming across as distracting to the eye. I would much rather see the roads expanded out to the area of the sidewalks to give your road labels breathing room for greater readability.
Black lines within the colored areas? Don't know what they are, what they mean, if they are needed.
1. Add landmark labels (very good to consider because it helps people navigate via wayfinding)
2. Add neighborhood boundaries & names (I think names would be sufficient, not boundaries)
3. Some sort of border for the parcels? (The color is based on zoning regulations). (borders for each colored zone? no. flat color without a stroke is fine right now)
Here's a boatload of 2D city/area map examples from our portfolio to give you some ideas: http://www.mapformat...o/city_area.htm
Hope these questions/comments get you started on how we can make improvements.