The east Bronx is seeing more “signs” of bad times – and locals have seen enough.
Community leaders are again seeing a spike in signs illegally posted on public telephone poles and trees.
“We do not want these signs littering our community,” said Bernadette Ferrara, vice president of the Van Nest Neigborhood Alliance. “No sooner do we take them down, and they’re back up!”
‘Cash for junk cars!’
The signs mostly advertise car sales and moving services. One illegal advertisement bearing the slogan “CA$H FOR ANY CAR” rattled the local community board when it was put up on a telephone pole directly across the street from Community Board 11’s office on Colden Avenue near Morris Park Avenue.
“It’s like graffiti,” said Jeremy Warneke, district manager of the board, which covers Morris Park, Van Nest, Pelham Parkway and Allerton. “You take it away and it pops up again.”
Among the other locations where the pesky signs have been reported in recent weeks:
•Morris Park Avenue and Delancey Place
•Fillmore Street and Morris Park Avenue
•Van Nest Avenue and Garfield Street
•Morris Park and Bronxdale avenues
Chronic nabe issue
The advertisers are violating a city law that bars anyone from posting a bill on city property. And the issue is nothing new.
CB11 worked with the city Department of Sanitation to remove a series of signs from the nabe’s streets back in 2011. Over 30 signs —some of which boasted “we buy ugly houses!” in hand-scribbled marker — were taken down in Morris Park, Pelham Bay and Pelham Gardens.
Illegal signs have been a chronic problem in the area since at least the 1990s, said Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who recalled tearing down some of the signs himself back then as district manager of Community Board 10, which covers the easternmost slice of the borough.
Harsh city fines
Those who post illegally are subject to city fines. Morris Park local Denise Condos found that out the hard way in the fall of 2012, when she was fined for posting 15 signs around her neighborhood advertising her new pet food supply business.
Condos said she thought hanging the signs was legal, since she saw other signs hung up in the nabe. But she soon received a series of summonses and a whopping $1,250 fine in the mail.
“I won’t be doing that again,” she said.
Mysterious area code
Tracking down the signs now plaguing the area may prove trickier. While Condos posted her business name, address and contact information on her signs, most of the “Cash for Car” signs in Morris Park and Van Nest only list a phone number.
Some of the signs bear the area code “516,” which covers Nassau County in Long Island.