An opponent of the Atlantic Yards hacked into a digital traffic sign on Flatbush Avenue near developer Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mega-project on Tuesday, manipulating it to flash the message, “F—k Ratner.”
Instead of warning motorists about traffic pattern changes from the construction of the Barclays Center a few blocks away, the sign, near the corner of St. Marks Avenue, flashed its obscenity from about 8 am until about 10 am, when it was disabled.
It is unclear who did the damage.
“I noticed it this morning,” said photographer George Causil, who lives a few blocks from the site and snapped the shot that accompanies this story.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said that the sign is the responsibility of Forest City Ratner, not the city.
“Large-scale construction signs are not necessarily operated by us,” said the spokesman, Scott Gastel. “It is not one of our signs.”
Causil said he has no opinion on the 22-acre project. At first, he said thought the sign was hilarious, but then considered the profanity inappropriate in a neighborhood with so many kids.
A city government official, who asked to remain nameless, added that there is a time and a place for opposition to Brooklyn’s biggest development.
“The sign is there for public safety, not to promote the arena or Ratner, so this wasn’t the right place or time to be doing that,” said the official.
Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco echoed that sentiment, calling the vandalism “serious and offensive.”
He said that the company has reported the incident to the NYPD.
©2010 Community News Group
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