Rogue Court Street worker posts smoking ban signs

Rogue Court Street worker posts smoking ban signs
Photo by Jason Speakman

Court Street is now a no-smoking zone!

Someone working in the Department of Education building on the Downtown street declared a smoking ban within 50 feet of the structure’s entrance by posting homemade “no smoking” signs near the front door.

The signs warn tobacco tokers not to indulge unless they head down nearby Joralemon and Livingston streets, since even going across the street would still leave the smoker within the forbidden zone.

A Department of Education rep said the sidewalk no-smoking zone is not the official policy of the building, and the agency is trying to figure out who put up the warnings.

“It was created by someone in the building who taped it to a window,” said spokeswoman Marge Feinberg.

But others said they liked the idea. The amount of smoke that has been flooding into the edifice is a problem, according to a security guard.

“People are coming in and out of the building,” she said.

A guard did not know who put the signs up, which cite a state law banning smoking within 50 feet of entrances to buildings that house 100 or more employees of a state agency. Feinberg pointed out that the department is a city, not state, agency.

A 40-year Department of Education employee — and non-smoker — applauded the initiative.

“I think it’s probably a good idea to keep that smoke away,” said Staten Island resident Philip Wladessa.

But a man working at a stand outside said smokers ignore the signs by taking their drags just a few feet away from the entrance.

“All of them used to come back here, smoking,” said Sam Sahan, adding that he did not mind the signs.

The signs came down soon after this paper starting asking questions, but the clean-air vigilante remains at large.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Doing me: A smoker disregards no-smoking signs on Court Street.
Photo by Jason Speakman