NYC Pulling Down "Don't Honk" Signs, But Unnecessary Beeping Still Illegal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city's "Don't Honk" signs are coming down, but it's still against the law to blow a car horn unnecessarily. Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013)

    The city's "Don't Honk" signs are coming down, but it's still against the law to blow a car horn unnecessarily.

    The city Department of Transportation says all the signs will be removed by the end of the year.

    City officials say the decision is part of an effort to de-clutter the streets of signs that generally go ignored, according to The New York Times.

    Unnecessary honking carries a $350 fine but is rarely enforced. The NYPD issued 206 summonses for that offense last year, the Times reported. 

    "The noise is always annoying, but that's life in New York and we love New York," said Upper West Side resident Wendy Schwartz.

    The DOT says complaints about honking have declined 63 percent since 2008. But some local politicians say that doesn't mean the signs should be taken down.

    City Councilwoman Gale Brewer wrote a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan arguing the signs should stay up.

    "I can't tell you how many requests I get for 'no honking' signs," Brewer wrote. “The notion of taking down information when information is so hard to get in New York City is pretty bad.” 

    The signs were introduced during Mayor Ed Koch's administration. He told the Times he believed there's significantly less honking now than there was in the 1980s when he was leading the city, and he thinks the signs he introduced have something to do with it.

    A spokesman for the transportation department, however, told the Times it's unclear whether the drop in "no honking" violations has to do with the signs or New Yorkers' acceptance of the fact that city drivers are often impatient and just like to beep. 

    "I don't think anybody pays attention and I don't think there is any enforcement," said Upper East Side resident Jonathan Hardy.

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