The New York City Department of Transportation is taking a cue from Twitter and changing its parking signs to convey their messages in 140 characters or less.
The new signs debuted Monday and detail the city’s parking rules in a much more clear and concise fashion. The signs have been truncated into two sections; rules for commercial vehicles are in red while rules for passenger vehicles are in green, and detail the days and times that they can park.
“We used to have signs with 250 characters on four different signs in three different colors. Now we can say it in about 140 characters on a much clearer sign,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told the New York Observer.
The first signs were installed on West 55th Street near Sixth Avenue, according to DNA Info, and will be rolled out in paid commercial parking areas between 60th and 14th streets and Second and Ninth avenues in the coming months.
Parts of the Upper East Side and Lower Manhattan should also expect to see the updated signs at some point, as well as commercial areas in the outer boroughs.
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City Councilman Daniel Garodnick proposed the parking sign update in 2011 and worked with Sadik-Khan to get new signs up around the city without having to “bother” with legislation.
Garodnick told the Observer he often has constituents approaching him with complaints about how confusing the signs are.
“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.
Sadik-Khan and Garodnick consider the updated signs a small but important step toward improving the city’s look.
“The days of puzzled parkers trying to make sense of our Midtown signs are over,” he continued in his statement.
“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.”
“Reducing the clutter and bringing clarity to the rules greatly improves the look of our streets,” Sadik-Khan told the Observer.