Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):
Lately I have been seeing more and more portable signs put on sidewalks by realtors to advertise Open Houses. Just today, there were freestanding metal signs advertising open houses on three of four corners at the intersection of 63rd Drive and Queens Boulevard. There was also one placed on the center island between the east and westbound traffic lanes.
I find it hard to believe these signs are legal. They are not secured to anything and a sudden gust of wind could easily pick one up and throw it into the windshield of an oncoming car, truck or bus — with possible injuries or fatal consequences. Not to mention that these signs were placed right smack in the middle of pedestrian traffic areas where they could easily cause problems for the elderly, handicapped or visually impaired.
These signs are an annoyance and a visual blight on the neighborhood. The placement of these signs by realtors seems to be a growing phenomenon all over the country and there are many localized efforts taking place to crack down on the offenders and stop this practice.
If realtors want to advertise, let them do it in any of the many traditional, accepted ways, such as print, radio, TV, Internet or direct mail. If we allow realtors to place signage anywhere they wish to drum up traffic to their product — regardless of any safety or aesthetic concerns — then we have to allow anyone who wants to sell anything to do it.
This is a dangerous and ugly practice and the city needs to step in and order the police or Department of Transportation to identify and prosecute the businesses and individuals who are doing it.
See also: Strategic placement of signs