<body> Public Ad Campaign: Advertising on Sidewalk Sheds Haunts the City Again
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Advertising on Sidewalk Sheds Haunts the City Again

VIA Municipal Art Society

The New York City Council will hold a public hearing next Monday, January 26, at 1:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Intro. 623 which proposes to allow advertising on sidewalk construction sheds for a yet to be determined permit fee. The Municipal Art Society will testify against this ill-conceived plan. [Read MAS press release here.]

Outdoor advertising and sidewalk construction sheds blight our city’s streetscape. The City wisely seeks to regulate outdoor advertising with strict zoning regulations and imposes design guidelines for sidewalk construction sheds, but the City Council now wants to combine these two eyesores with a permit that would allow outdoor advertising companies to advertise on sidewalk sheds in manufacturing and commercial zoning districts. Read coverage of this issue in Metro NY, January 27, 2009.

Sidewalk sheds are mandated by law and are intended solely for safety purposes during construction. They are unattractive and interfere with pedestrian traffic, but public safety is a priority no one can argue with. Allowing advertising on them, however, merely serves to provide an incentive for a building owner to leave a shed up and extend the advertiser’s presence onto public property — the sidewalk.

We know from experience that sidewalk sheds have been left up for years, even when no work is being done on a building. This has a serious deleterious effect on the pedestrian experience — by creating congested dark spaces on some of our most important avenues. The sheds also interfere with the business of street level retailers and destroy mature trees that cannot survive when these sheds surround their trunks (some trees are just cut down to make room for the sheds).

The permitted advertisement will by no means be discreet or subtle. The Council bill would allow the sidewalk sheds to be as much as eight feet tall (conveniently the length of a sheet of plywood) and the advertisement could run the full length of the shed, which on some construction sites can be a block long with the shed wrapping around the corners of the building.

Our campaign against illegal advertising has been very popular with New yorkers because it is so closely related to the issues of livability and the preservation of the city’s unique streetscapes. It would be a true shame if the City Council is allowed to legalize advertising signage that the public clearly does not want.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


well, looks like the city really does not hate outdoor advertising even if it is just being considered.

There will be tons of money for companies and landlords to make from this being legal.


GET MONEY!!! $$$$$$$$

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God!! The city needs to let advertisments back on sidewalk bridges .They look so much better with an ad on them .The city looks ugly with all these sheds being blank.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A select few of the public don't want these ads .Who cares what you want. Ads on these sheds look better than blank ugly blue sheds.I do agree that they should not be put up unless they are needed for safety due to work on the buliding.And should come down immediately after the work is done.And you know if it wasnt for advertising there wouldnt be any phone booths left in the city.<~~FACT

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you know if it wasnt for advertising there wouldnt be any phone booths left in the city.<~~FACT

1000000000000000% FACT

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

in regards to phonebooths being provided by advertising. I don't recall it but there was a time when advertising wasn't the only way to finance public institutions and services.

And when was the last time you used a phonebooth, and when you did was it working?

If we are paying for these things to exist they should work, and this wonderful article seems to prove they don't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

im sorry but yes most phonebooths do work and they were the only thing working on 9/11 so thank you advertising.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the meeting was yesterday at City Council.

do we know the results???


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