Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our polluted streetscapes


I came across your website on the Gothamist. I am a Manhattan resident who moved from Queens a few years ago. I am working on a project in which I walk the streets of Queens ...

I have noticed an enormous amount of what I call “Visual Pollution” by local business and other business to post placards signs etc. on city property (e.g. bus stop poles, telephone poles, traffic poles).

The attachments represent some of the pictures I have taken while walking around Long Island City around Van Dam Street/Borden Avenue/Midtown Queens Express. I have other pictures in Astoria, Sunnyside & Woodside but I have seen this defacing of public property by businesses throughout Queens and the other boroughs. These signs are significant eye-sores.
In my mind, there is no difference between these signs and graffiti. I believe both are illegal but all the attention has been on graffiti while there seems be no action against these visual polluters who are getting a free ride. At least these businesses provide there name, telephone number and sometimes location which would make it easy to track them down to remove the signs and be fined.

Thought this would of interest to you and your readers.


George Slatin

Thanks, George. Notice that this is being perpetrated in many cases by nationwide chains who don't see any problem with blighting the streetscape with their cheap ads. More cost effective than buying an illegal billboard, I guess. The City could make a mint by fining these companies, but instead they pick on the little guy all the time. - QC


Miles Mullin said...

One of the reasons I laugh when you see a headline grabbing councilman beaming that they got yet another law passed.

We do not enforce the laws that are on the books. Society is increasingly breaking down.

CntrySigns said...

I'm sure they are being fined, but fines are much smaller than the cost of advertising. Shops are just building the fines into the cost of doing business.

A Better NYC said...

Just last week on my block someone nailed a sign for a carpet cleaning business to a telephone pole.

I took it down right away and fired it right in the garbage.

I encourage everyone to do the same.

georgetheatheist said...

Years ago before the gubernatorial election, I purposefully drove over to Queens Plaza, parked the car and circumnavigated the area and ripped down all the Re-elect Mario Cuomo signs that the Dem organization illegally stapled up. I was almost orgasmic in tearing each placard in two. (Of course, they remnants were placed in the nearest trash receptacle.)

Anonymous said...

You go George with you ripping down signs.Of course you had to park the car.Hope you were not out of breath?That Queens Plaza is so clean anyways.Sure hope no debris fell from the tangeled Queens boro plaza metal mess.

Anonymous said...

George, be sure to tear down the predatory "We buy Houses for cash" ads that are popping up all over Queens.

georgetheatheist said...

I use my trusty Home Depot 2-step step ladder (which I carry in my van) to get up high and tear all illegally posted signs down. I even kick-over with unmitigated glee the "open house" sandwich boards.

Anonymous said...

use my trusty Home Depot 2-step step ladder (which I carry in my van) to get up high and tear all illegally posted signs down.
They can fine you for doing that.

How about the machine canditate signs that litter the landscape around Halloween.

Pretty scary, huh? Crappy, you listen?

Anonymous said...

Call 311 about the signs. There was a FORTUNETELLER (!) in my neighborhood who posted a sandwich board (chained to a lightpole, interestingly enough). Everytime I saw it, I called 311. Guess what. It doesn't happen anymore. On some levels, I feel her illegal act is LESS egregious than Dunkin Donuts (since they're a big corporation), but on the other, I DON'T want my neighborhood associated with such storefront ops as fortunetellers.