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City: ‘Polite sign is still illegal’

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Oh please!

The employees of a private summer camp in Midwood took the law into their own hands and put up cardboard “no parking except school buses” signs outside their headquarters, which city reps say is illegal. But administrators claim the signs are only a suggestion — and that people should know it’s not an officially sanctioned notice because the posting, which says “please,” is too polite to come from the city.

“It says, ‘Please for the safety of the children.’ You’ve never seen a city sign that says ‘please’ — I guarantee it,” said Meir Leib Yanofsky of the Chaim Day Camp, which operates out of the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva.

Camp counsellors have put up several such signs on E. 13th and E. 14th streets, which flank the Avenue I school. Two are attached right below the city’s official “truck loading only” signs. Others are posted in front of public parking spaces on temporary poles that camp employees take in and out every day, said head counselor Yingy Finkelstein.

And directors say they only erect the polite-yet-illicit signs in July and August, when they want to make it easier for summer campers to load and unload.

“We put up the signs so hopefully people will understand, in order to have the safety of the children, the children should be able to board by the curb,” Yanofsky said. “And the buses should not have to double park and children have to go into the street to board the bus.”

Camp employees have been putting out the phony signs for at least three years now.

Administrators there have been lobbying the city to carve out bus-loading-only zones on the side streets, which they believe they are entitled to, for about a decade, said Yanofsky.

“We are working on trying to get this legally — to get ‘no standing’ signs,” he said. “Legally we’re entitled to have the sides of schools, to have no parking. We’re trying — legally trying — to get ‘no standing’ signs from DOT.”

The Department of Transportation will remove the phony signs on E. 13th and E. 14th streets as soon as possible, a spokeswoman said. The agency did not immediately respond to a subsequent request for comment about the school’s desire for official signs.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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