Saturday, October 25, 2014

DSNY lax in removing illegal signs

From the Queens Tribune:

One civic group says the illegal signs that pepper the area are an eyesore and the group is calling on a City agency to find a solution for the problem.

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association recently issued a report detailing the problem illegal signs have become in their neighborhood, and through many parts of the City, and are asking the Sanitation Dept. to improve its response to complaints about the signs and take them down faster.

The report, which was obtained by the Queens Tribune, describes the civic group’s experience with reporting the problem to the Sanitation Dept. for the past four years, including the agency’s response to the complaints when it has been logged into the 311 system.

The report is based on 164 service requests the WRBA has filed about the signs during that time period, reporting a total of 142 illegal postings.

According to the report, more than 63 percent of the 311 requests were not addressed properly. The group found that 47 percent of the postings that Sanitation claimed to have resolved were not actually addressed when the civic group went back to check on it. Additionally, seven percent of those signs were “partially addressed,” which meant a worker put a sticker or crossed-out the number listed on the posting, preventing people from calling the number.

They also said that 28 percent of their requests appeared to never have reached the Sanitation Dept. after filing it with 311.

On a recent walk around Woodhaven to follow up on the signs they reported to 311, WRBA member Alex Blenkinsopp found that the majority of the 17 signs that were observed were either partially removed or not addressed at all, even though they were told that the complaint had been resolved. There were also four new signs discovered while on the walk. They were previously undiscovered by the civic group and were not included in the 17 that were followed up on.

The signs are mostly posted on street light poles, mailboxes and pedestrian signs in high traffic areas like the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven. Some signs are also posted in residential areas, which, according to the WRBA, tend to take longer to address because it is not in a highly visible area.


Anonymous said...

Simply charge the people that own the phone number $500/day as long as the signs are up.

Let them remove them so they stop getting fined.

Anonymous said...

Lack of manpower. When you are a sanctuary coty you have a large populace,but a small tax base.

Anonymous said...

I take them down myself whenever possible, immediately.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous #1: That doesn't work in most cases because the advertisers use disposable ("burner") cell phones with untraceable, temporary numbers.

Anonymous said...

There are only a handful of these Cars for Cash that are posting anywhere and everywhere. From the looks of the over-posted Queens landscape, DSNY has list the war and has given up. The posters are being glued to every piece of city property which is illegal.
Guarantee these are most likely related to overseas criminal organizations.

Anonymous said...

Sanitation should call the number say they have a car for sale, have the tow guy respond and fine him 5000 for responding. The tow guy would be responsible unless he gives up the guy in charge of putting up the signs. That would stop the nonsense real quick.

Joe Moretti said...

On another note, if someone is able to get signs high up as this photo shows on a subway platform or on the LIRR Trestle which I have seen in Jamaica without being detected, what is stopping someone from putting a bomb in these locations as well. Considering all that is going on with terrorism these days, food for thought.

I would view this more than just a Sanitation issue, there is certainly a public safety concern as well. But DOS is doing a lousy job in this department as is the City overall. If you really want to stop something, it can be done by the powers to be.

Anonymous said...

I am not a robot. I am a real person.

The city SHOULD take these signs down right away but they can't do it fast enough.

So, armed with my trusty homemade tool (, I take the signs down in my neighborhood myself. In the last few years I have removed around... 250 of them. After the first 100 or so, it's tough to keep track.

I'm always very mindful of overhead wires and traffic and don't take down any that would put me in danger. I'm super careful. For these, I call 311, which results in sign removal SOMETIMES.

My immediate neighborhood is now almost devoid of these CASH FOR CARS and WE BUY HOUSES eyesores.

Next up, it's time to get going on those fake charity clothing donation bins. Remember, if those bins are placed on a public sidewalk, they are abandoned property and are therefore garbage.

So, if somebody chooses to use heavy duty epoxy to seal the donation lid shut, well that's the way the cookie crumbles.

If somebody wants to take some of that same epoxy and spread it all over the keyholes of the locks securing the large access door, oh well. I guess that bin won't be opened anytime soon.

So don't forget. If a company chooses to abandon property on a public sidewalk, then ANYBODY can pretty much do ANYTHING they want with it. It has been ABANDONED and can be treated like GARBAGE.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that someone from DOT is doing this as a side job????

Anonymous said...

I rip them down when ever i can as well. If not you'll be looking at them for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Some of those signs are put up with super adhesive glue and real hard to take down and many are up so high they used a cherry picker to put them up.
This job is to big for the Sanitation Dept. they like to go after the yard sale and lost dog signs that's a little easier work for their inspectors. A few years ago they went after the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce for putting up signs on the poles for a community event and fined them $75 for each sign and it totaled a couple thousand dollars.They appealed but I don't know what the out come was.

georgetheatheist said...


Checked out the link . . . that's nice BUT why does the citizenry have to do this when there's a Sanitation Department?

Anonymous said...

"Checked out the link . . . that's nice BUT why does the citizenry have to do this when there's a Sanitation Department?"

I agree.

But I got tired of looking at these things and continuing to make complaints with mostly no results. So, I started taking the signs down myself.

Now where I live is mostly free of these signs and it stays that way with my periodic maintenance. My neighbors have seen me take them down and have thanked me personally. I'm happier. My neighbors are happier. It's win-win as I see it.

But, if somebody else would prefer to wait for the city to take a more aggressive stance against these signs, fine.

I can't.

Anonymous said...

Silver spray paint or gray primer.

Anonymous said...

If they are on a non- flammable surface, a blowtorch oughta do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Understand: the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association wants the Dept. of Sanitation to *encourage* residents to take the signs down, while also allowing residents' testimony and photographs to be used as evidence to prosecute whoever's posting. The WRBA wants to add to the Sanitation Department's efforts, not just rely on it -- especially because, as their report shows, it can't be relied on.

Anonymous said...

The problem with 311 is that you can't attach a photo of the poster in the online complaint form. When a DSNY agent can't find the poster, the 311 complaint gets dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Go out and do something yourself. Straight and simple. Clearly, the city isn't trying to do much about this problem.

My idea is to tear down as many of these signs and stuff them into the illegal pink clothing bins.

Anonymous said...

I've been reporting these signs on for a while now. Most of the time, the case is "Closed as the issue was resolved" or some BS like that, but the signs are still there.