By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A video billboard that Upper West Siders have complained is too blindingly bright for their neighborhood is illegal, the city's Department of Buildings said Monday.
The DOB will issue violations against the flashing Duane Reade sign at West 72nd Street and Broadway because it's illegal to illuminate "accessory signs" on the second floor, said a DOB spokeswoman.
That's welcome news for residents who complained that the glow from the sign, on the second level of a brand new Duane Reade, disturbed their sleep and made their neighborhood look like Times Square.
Now Duane Reade must bring the sign into compliance with DOB regulations, but it's not known yet whether the sign will be removed altogether or whether the brightness will be reduced. A representative for Duane Reade could not be reached immediately for comment on Monday.
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal took up the cause after dozens of residents demanded the sign's removal.
Rosenthal said the sign was so bright it could distract drivers at an already notoriously dangerous intersection; Brewer said the sign wasn't appropriate for a residential area.
Rosenthal and Brewer — who called the sign "digital chutzpah run amok" — are both calling for the sign's removal.
"The sign promotes over and over a single message, and what it says to us is that Duane Reade will do whatever it wants in our community - too bad," Brewer said in a written statement.
This isn't the first time Upper West Siders have battled brightly-lit signage. Last fall a Time Warner billboard at West 96th Street and Broadway was dimmed slightly after residents complained the sign was too bright.