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Arris Lofts tenants upset at sign change

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After complaints from residents and calls from the community board, the city is removing the “no standing” signs it installed along Court Square in front of the Arris Lofts about a month ago.

The signs, which went up across the street from the historic Long Island City Courthouse without any notification to residents or Community Board 2, were slated to be removed Wednesday after the TimesLedger’s publication deadline.

“It sounds great and I’m very happy to hear it,” said Daniel Bach, an attorney and Arris Lofts resident who gathered the signatures of 80 of his neighbors on a petition asking for the signs to be changed. “But I’m a New Yorker, so when I see it, I believe it.”

Joseph Conley, chairman of CB 2, was more enthusiastic.

“Sometimes we can move mountains,” he said. “We have a good working relationship with Queens Borough Commissioner [Maura] McCarthy and once we made the appeal to her I think she moved very quickly on it.”

Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the city Department of Transportation, said that in addition to altering the no-standing signs to allow street parking on nights and weekends when the court is not in session, the agency would work to remove parking spaces reserved for district attorney employees who rarely visit the court.

Bach first complained about the signs at CB 2’s March meeting.

“It was really unilaterally unfair that they changed the signs without alerting the community or the community board,” he said, noting the signs made it technically illegal for trucks to deliver or pick up items from the building’s freight elevator and would ban an Access-A-Ride van from waiting for a wheelchair-bound passenger, Bach said.

“That means, legally speaking, we can no longer move into this building, we can no longer move out of the building,” he said.

The City Council did pass a local law last year that required the DOT to notify the public when changing parking regulations by posting notices in the area. But the law only mandates that the community board be notified in advance if the DOT changes the parking meter rate.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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