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New Parking Signs Aim to Make Rules Easier to Understand

By Mary Johnson | January 7, 2013 1:38pm

MIDTOWN — Officials unveiled new, streamlined signs in Midtown Monday morning intended to make it easier for drivers to read and understand parking rules on the city’s jam-packed streets.

The first signs were installed at West 55th Street near Sixth Avenue — part of an initial rollout that will replace some 6,300 signs in Manhattan. The signs will be installed in paid commercial parking areas between 60th Street and 14th Street and Second and Ninth avenues, as well as in parts of the Upper East Side and Lower Manhattan.

The new design attempts to simplify what Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan called “a 5-foot totem pole of confusing information” by paring down the number of characters needed to explain a street’s parking rules, leaving more room between chunks of information, limiting the sign to just two colors and eliminating abbreviations.

“Parking signs play an important role in setting the rules at the curbside,” Sadik-Khan said in a statement. “These changes will make regulations easier to read and take the stress out of figuring out where and when you can legally park.”

City Councilman Daniel Garodnick began pushing the DOT to simplify parking signs in the city in 2011.

“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 in a statement.

“The days of puzzled parkers trying to make sense of our Midtown signs are over,” he added. “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.”