NYC Is Finally Making Its Parking Signs Understandable

new nyc parking signs

Photo: NYC DOT

Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled new parking regulations signs for New York City yesterday, saying they were easier to read and simpler to understand.With City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Council Member Daniel R. Gardnick, Sadik-Khan announced the city would begin an initial roll-out of 6,300 signs, starting in midtown Manhattan, the Upper East Side, Lower Manhattan, and the Financial District.

The old signs were as tall as five feet, with confusing language and all capital letters than can be hard to read. The new versions will measure four feet high, only use two colours, and, logically, will list which days parking is allowed before noting specific hours.

“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,” said Sadik-Khan.

The updates are long overdue. “Some of the signs are so bad that a motorist could be ticketed while stopping his car to try to figure them out,” Mayor John Lindsay said in 1967, according to the New York Times. They have hardly been changed since.

Installing the first batch of signs will cost about $180,000, according to the Daily News. But because they are smaller, they will be cheaper to produce than the signs they are replacing, officials said.

The new parking signs are just one element of city life that is becoming easier to understand. By April 30, all of the city’s 13,000 taxis will have to change their lights to follow a simplified system: the light is on when the taxi is available, and off when it is not.

In 2010, the City began replacing all-caps street signs to a font called Clearview, a $27.5 million project mandated by the federal government to make them easier to read, and improve road safety.

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