City ushers in simplified curbside parking signs

The city Department of Transportation says these newly designed parking signs would be clearer for drivers throughout the city. Image courtesy NYC DOT
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Meter maids beware.

More than 6,000 new and simplified parking regulation signs will be installed throughout the city in the coming months with hopes of putting the brakes on violations, the city Department of Transportation said.

Redesigned with a streamlined color scheme and font arrangement, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said drivers will have less to read when figuring out where they can put their cars in the city.

“New York City’s parking signs can sometimes be a 5-foot-high totem pole of confusing information,” Sadik-Khan said. “Parking signs play an important role in setting the rules at the curbside and these changes will make regulations easier to read and take the stress out of figuring out where and when you can legally park.”

The measure was first proposed in 2011 by City Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who argued for a more efficient way of policing parking in the five boroughs. Garodnick and his colleagues in the Council worked closely with the DOT to develop the new signs, which will be installed through the spring in Midtown and then follow in the remaining four boroughs.

“You shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in parking signage to understand where you are allowed to leave your car in New York,” Garodnick said. “The days of puzzled parkers trying to make sense of our midtown signs are over. I was pleased to work directly with DOT, removing unnecessary words in these signs, cleaning up their appearance and the result is a simple, clear product that people will understand.”

In New York City, parking violations could range from as low as $65 for illegally parking in a vacant lot to $165 for parking in front of a pedestrian ramp. The city has doled out nearly 10 million parking violations each year since 2008, according to the DOT.

The city once again teamed up with Pentagram Design to outline the new simplified signs — the same group that helped in another DOT safety campaign installing “LOOK!” decals throughout city streets and taxis.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) joined with Garodnick and DOT officials earlier this month to unveil the first signs near West 55th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan.

“Most good ideas are simple,” Quinn said. “The city’s new parking signs are compact and easy to read and understand, and I thank the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Sadik-Khan for working with the Council to simplify parking regulations for all New Yorkers.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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