New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick today unveiled newly designed and simplified parking regulation signs in Midtown’s commercial parking areas, making it easier to see and read signs while reducing their size. The initial rollout replaces 6,300 parking regulation signs of varying colors, typefaces, font sizes and sometimes confusing phrasing with streamlined and standardized two-color signs that are phrased and formatted for easier readability. Council Member Garodnick first proposed simplifying the City’s parking regulation signs in 2011. Working collaboratively with the City Council, DOT developed the new, easy to read signs, which will be installed in Midtown’s paid commercial parking areas through the spring and installation will follow in other parts of the city. The Commissioner, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Garodnick unveiled the signs at West 55th Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, where they were first installed.
“New York City’s parking signs can sometimes be a five-foot-high totem pole of confusing information,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “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.”
“Most good ideas are simple,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The City’s new parking signs are compact and easy to read and understand, and I thank the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Sadik-Khan for working with the Council to simplify parking regulations for all New Yorkers.”
“You shouldn't need a Ph.D in parking signage to understand where you are allowed to leave your car in New York," said Council Member Garodnick, a longtime supporter of syntactic clarity. “The days of puzzled parkers trying to make sense of our midtown signs are over. 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.”
The simplified signs will be located throughout Manhattan’s paid commercial parking areas, running generally from 60th Street downtown to 14th Street and from Second to Ninth Avenues, with additional areas in the Upper East Side, Lower Manhattan and the Financial District. The 6,300 signs that DOT will replace in Midtown and Lower Manhattan include 3,300 commercial parking signs and 3,000 other signs for nighttime and weekend parking for the general public, hotel and taxi stands, street cleaning and no standing areas. The new signs reduce the number of characters needed to explain the rules from 250 to about 140, making the sign appear less visually cluttered while reducing five-foot-high signs by about a foot. The new design also places the day of the regulation before the hours of the regulation, eliminating abbreviations and retaining all necessary parking information while making it easier to read. The signs were designed working with Pentagram Design, which has also worked with DOT on its safety campaigns, including the LOOK! street and taxi decals and safety ad campaign.