Neon Sign-Gate: Time Warner Angers UWS Residents

Good Luck Trying To Sleep With That Sign Blaring In Window

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Some Manhattan residents are having a tough time going to sleep at night.

A Time Warner Cable storefront sign is lighting up the Upper West Side and residents say it’s too bright.

For some residents, they’re watching Time Warner Cable in more ways than they want to.

“Time Warner put this sign up that has transformed 96th and Broadway into Times Square,” resident Meyer Muschel told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

The bright lights of the storefront sign had been blasting into Muschel’s apartment and dozens of other apartments for weeks. His daughter can’t sleep.

“When it’s at night it’s really annoying. Once I had a sleepover with one of my friends and I didn’t fall asleep until Ii don’t know if it was 1:30 or 2 o’clock in the morning,” Kayla Muschel said.

“It keeps flashing. The kids can’t sleep at night. It’s annoying,” resident Carol Weinrib said.

The bright sign illuminates several buildings commercial and residential. At least one building is offering tenants black-out blinds to lessen the glare through their apartment windows.

The terrible annoyance may remind you of an old Seinfeld episode, when a new restaurant’s neon sign had Kramer seeing red.

But in this real Manhattan story no one’s laughing about useless blinds.

“It just shouldn’t be,” one person said.

The lighted sign appears to violate the Department of Planning’s zoning resolution which ensures:

“That illumination on any illuminated sign does not project or reflect on residences, loft dwellings or joint living-work quarters for artists so as to interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment…”

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said she’s received numerous complaints. She fired off a letter to Time Warner …

“Asking them to essentially be good neighbors and tone down the lighting,” said Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

Sanchez tried to speak to the folks at Time Warner, but they kicked her out of the store. Residents are hoping whomever came up with this bright idea will soon pull the plug.

CBS 2 also made calls to Time Warner Cable’s press office, but they did not respond to our request for comment.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Stacey

    Thanks for the help getting the sign toned down. The regulations on the block still seem to allow for brighter lights than what is allowed on other nearby streets. I was once told it, the law was changed to allow for the McDonald’s sign which was done by a local artist 20+ years ago. However, other businesses have taken advantage of that. In addition to Time Warner, the Chase bank on the opposite corner has 17 signs (each approx. 5’x2′) lit up all night long. They were not responsive when asked to turn them off at night, or at least the 2nd story ones. They said, nobody will know we’re here. The sign is greater than any other location they have except time square. In addition it’s environmentally irresponsible.

    The new subway station has partially glass ceilings which allow more ambient light. Perhaps if the city is going to add this much light to this block, they could tell the businesses they have to turn off their lights after 10pm?

    Can you do anything to help restore what was once a residential neighborhood.

  • Sally Rogers

    Wa Wa Wa. Thats what you get for living in Manhattan.

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