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Less is more: Newer, shorter parking signs to go up in Manhattan

For decades, motorists attempting to find the elusive parking spot in Manhattan have had to contend with the one-two punch of heavy traffic and virtually indecipherable parking signs. City officials, however, are hoping that this confusion over the "when" and "where" of parking in Manhattan will soon disappear entirely.

That's because New York City is currently in the process of replacing 6,400 outdated parking signs in Manhattan with newer -- and altogether less-confusing -- models.

Specifically, while the older signs could reach up to five feet in height and 250 characters in length, the new signs are limited to four feet in height and a maximum of 140 characters in length. In addition, they utilize simpler color schemes, easier to read fonts and, of course, decipherable instructions.

"You shouldn't need a PhD in parking signage to understand where you are allowed to leave your car in New York," said City Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick, one of the earliest proponents of changing the parking signs. "The days of puzzled parkers trying to make sense of our midtown signs are over."

The overwhelming goal of the new signs, say officials, is to enable motorists to determine whether they can park in a given spot much more quickly and to spare them the frustration of getting a parking ticket despite their efforts to abide by parking restrictions.

The project, which cost $180,000, will cover the area from Second Avenue to Ninth Avenue, and 14 Street to 60th Street South. Several hundred of the signs have already been installed and officials say the remaining 6,000 will be in place by the spring.

The effort to clarify parking restrictions will apparently not end in Manhattan, as DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan indicated that new parking signs will likely be installed in the Financial District, as well as the Upper East and West Sides.

What are your thoughts on these new parking signs? Are they necessary or could the money have been used to improve another traffic-related problem?

Stay tuned for more from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Los Angeles Times, "New York City's convoluted parking signs get as easy as A, B, C," Jan. 8, 2013

The Epoch Times, "New parking signs will make NYC drivers less 'crazy,'" Zachary Stieber, Jan. 13, 2013

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