Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Against illegal signs

Illegal signs and posters on utility poles, public walls and trees have long been an eyesore in NYC. Many civic organizations’ volunteers have spent countless unpaid hours removing these posters so their neighborhoods can remain neat and clean-looking. A piece of proposed legislation by Speaker Christine Quinn and several other council members would destroy those efforts by rewarding those who prefer to remain unaware of existing laws that prohibit defacing public property. Speaker Quinn’s new law would in effect give small businesses and non-profit organizations free "get-out-of-jail" cards for their first violations. This is absolutely wrong. The various business and merchant organizations that support this legislation should instead attempt to educate their members that it is illegal to defile public property with their advertising.

It is difficult enough for the Department of Sanitation to enforce the existing law. There are enough loopholes that allow companies to skirt the law by using cell phones and bogus addresses, making it nearly impossible for them to be tracked. Why create new loopholes for them? That’s exactly what this legislation, if passed, will do. The number of illegal signs will greatly increase and make even more of a mess of our neighborhoods.

Rather than cater to a few business groups that should know better, the city council members should instead support the efforts of those small business that advertise legally, and not at the expense of our neighborhoods.

What's really surprising is this legislation's support by Council Member Peter Vallone, who had in the past prided himself on being one of the top "go-to" council members for anti-graffiti efforts. With the increase of signs that this law will bring, either he'll be busier, or he's already given up. I've called Vallone's office, his "legislative director" Jonathan was either never given the message, or he didn't want to bother calling me back.

I wonder what other politicians are supporting this behind the scenes. Could it be the ones that have already been hit with multiple fines for their campaign posters?

Rick Duskiewicz
President, The Creedmoor Civic Association
Member, Citizens Against Graffiti Everywhere


Anonymous said...

What we need is a grass roots effort to remove these signs. The businesses put these signs up because that make money. If we take them down quickly they will lose money.


When I walk my dog (which I do every single day,no matter what) I take down all the signs in my area and deposit them in the trash receptacle (which is usually overflowing, but that is another whole issue).

People of NYC unite!!!

Rid your block of this obnoxious "litter on a pole".

If every block had only one person doing this we could rid the city of this abuse.

Anonymous said...

the signs should be ripped down and dropped off infront of the ofending business if they can be found.
Careful of the papercuts.

Anonymous said...

you are a racist hater! where would the poor illegal aliens advertise for their rooms to rent, 24 hour babysitting and work ads?

You mean you have a problem with them stapling their ads to trees?

Next you will claim illegal aliens want to kill trees & are invading our country.

A Better NYC said...

No need to complicate a very simple situation.

If you see a poster or flyer just simply take it down and throw it in the garbage.


Rick D said...

To A Better NYC:

The problem with simply removing signs, which I've done with at least 150 signs or so, is that the offender never really knows what's happened to their signs. They don't learn their lesson like getting a fine will teach them.

The Dept of Sanitation has been very responsive, and in some cases, have removed signs the day after they were reported!