New York City's Department of Transportation is removing "Don't Honk" signs from city streets, but it will still be against the law to blow a car horn unnecessarily.
All "Don't Honk" signs will be removed by the end of the year, and some New York City-area locals are wondering exactly how the city plans to pay for the work to be done.
Chelsea Dunham, a Farmingdale, New York, resident, spent the past five years commuting from Long Island to New York City to get to her place of employment. She believes the signs and their removal are a waste, because they are rarely enforced, and she believes it will be costly to have them removed.
"It's a waste of money in labor costs to remove them," Dunham said. "If they leave them up, they should actually enforce the rule."
Dunham said she used to commute every day on foot from Penn Station to Grand Central Terminal, and it was "loud as hell" due to honking. In her travels, she rarely saw any cars getting pulled over for it. "It's mostly the cabs and livery cars that honk," Dunham explained.
Will the Sign Removal Have Any Effect?
The signs were introduced during Ed Koch's administration in the '80s, and unnecessary honking currently incurs a hefty $350 fine. However, many officers seem to look the other way when it comes to handing out tickets. New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world, so officers may have other more pressing issues to deal with than enforcing "no honking" with any regularity.
According to a New York Times report, city officials say taking down the signs will help clear streets of signs that are often disregarded. However, locals say the streets are so disorderly that taking down a few signs won't make much of a difference.
"Taking down a few signs won't de-clutter anything," Dunham added. "If anything, why don't they do the research and see if they can reduce the number of signs in areas that don't matter? They should leave them up in heavily residential areas."
Local Admits He'll Honk More When Signs Are Removed
Oceanside, New York, resident Dave Suchmann, who drives into New York City six days a week, admitted that he'll probably start honking more once the signs are taken down. "I am very aware of the 'Don't Honk' signs, and I make sure to only honk when there is a person near me or if something unsafe is about to happen," Suchmann said. "When the signs are taken away, I think drivers like myself will start honking more than we should."
According to The New York Times, the DOT says complaints about honking have declined 63 percent over the past few years, and the Times also reports that City Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer said, "I can't tell you how many requests I get for 'no honking' signs."
Still, some area locals think the "Don't Honk" signs simply haven't made much of an effect, so it makes sense to take them down. "If one feels the urge to honk, they will," said East Brunswick, New Jersey, resident A.J. DeMarco. "Doesn't make much of a difference if they keep the signs up or take them down."
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