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
I believe that these are not legal and that anyone is within their legal rights to remove these signs and toss them into the garbage!
Or if you prefer, call the Dep't of Sanitation !
Even worse, is the way they badger people to sell with phone calls and flyers.
You know they get the mailing lists -- from DOB?!?
Hey, can I get free mailing lists too as a service from the city to sell my product, or spread my ideas? Considering my tax dollars made it happen.
If you live in Queens, sign up for the state's cease-and-desist law.
The next update is January, but you can sign up now:
NY State's Cease and Desist list signup
Let's not be hasty here. We're afraid of what new owners will do with newly purchased property. That doesn't mean we should make it harder to sell your house. These "open house" signs go up for what, 4 hours? They help the little guy sell his house. They help prevent buyers from getting lost. Yes, they should avoid being an obstruction to traffic. If they are illegal, I wonder if anyone ever challenged the law (the First Amendment comes to mind). Then again, I doubt the authorities ever really enforce the law.
"They help the little guy sell his house."
And the little guy that buys it who is a hardworking immigrant who needs the Queens Crap he is building to wring every penny from that lot to send his kids to college blah blah blah....
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