DITMARS — A neighborhood parks group is hoping a little humor will encourage Astoria Park-goers to clean up after themselves.
Volunteer group Astoria Park Alliance recently installed a series of laminated posters along Shore Boulevard to remind residents to properly dispose of their trash — part of a campaign to keep the waterfront clean.
"We're trying to keep the shoreline cleaner this year," said co-chair Martha Lopez-Gilpin, adding that the signs are meant to be funny instead of accusatory.
"Nobody likes a finger wagged in their face," she said. "It's not helpful."
The posters are gentle reminders for people to use the park's many trash cans.
"If you like seeing rats on the shoreline, raise your hand," one of them reads, along with a cartoon image of a rodent. "Hand still down? Good. Please throw your trash in a garbage can."
Another features a list of positive things about the park: "beautiful views, beautiful sunsets, beautiful shoreline...Rotting pizza in a take-out box?! Please throw out your trash."
"The NYC Marathon is 26.2 miles," another sign says. "The nearest trash can is 20 yards away. Please use it."
Lopez-Gilpin says litter has been a problem along Shore Boulevard as well as on the actual East River shoreline below — trash that's either blown from the park into the waterway or that gets washed up on the shore from the river itself.
The Alliance will be hosting more cleanups along the shoreline this summer.
Shore Boulevard recently got a pedestrian-friendly makeover from the Department of Transportation when it was converted into a one-way road and got a new protected bike path.
"It definitely has a more pastoral [feel]," Lopez-Gilpin said of the change. "It should be clean, it should be beautiful. These signs were part of that idea."