Bright Billboard Battle Intensifies On NYC’s Upper West Side

Nearby Residents Complain Of Flashing Electronic Ad

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Some residents on the Upper West Side say their homes are being invaded by flashing lights, and they can’t turn them off.

The bright light battle began with this week’s grand opening of a chain drug store, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

The new Duane Reade electronic billboard at 72nd Street at Broadway is impossible to miss, only four days old and already creating a big buzz.

“The constant flashing is almost like a strobe light, so it’s pretty unsettling,” Jill Adams said.

The view out of Adams’ living room is nothing but advertisements, one after the other, bright both day and night.

“It went from a very serene environment to like being in a club,” she said. “When I’m in bed, I can still see the flashes.”

State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is fighting the sign.

“To have such a bright, inappropriate sign that flashes is distracting – and possibly not legal,” Rosenthal said.

The city Department of Buildings confirmed to CBS 2 that an investigation is underway to determine if Duane Reade has the proper permits for this kind of sign. Some New Yorkers say the signs don’t bother them.

“I don’t have to look, I can walk another way,” Upper West Side resident Charlie Lyons said.

A Duane Reade manager would not comment and referred CBS 2 to corporate headquarters, where a representative said the display screen is new and is still being tested, and the settings are being adjusted.

Assemblywoman Rosenthal said the only acceptable solution is to pull the plug.

“I have a bill in Albany that would not allow signs that constantly flash in certain neighborhoods,” Rosenthal said.

The new legislation won’t come a moment too soon for Adams, desperate to move what she calls a “mini Times Square” away from her window.

“I can’t live with this,” Adams said.

This is not the first bright light battle for Duane Reade. In 1999, the company was cited for a sign that was deemed to big and too bright on the East Side.

More from Dave Carlin
  • UWS the new New Jersey

    The upper west side was so much better when the drug dealers were on the streets instead of taking up every street.

  • mchamma

    what they need to do is add the star of david to the sign and no more complaints

  • mchamma

    dooodoo dooo doooo cant touch this…..

  • mchamma

    Im the Hebrew hamma

  • Jim Fallen

    Just bring your dog some late night and let him/her
    drop some gift at the front door

    then walk away!

  • Scott on the UWS

    What next, a Bubba Gump and the Naked Cowboy? The Upper West Side is a diverse, residential neighborhood that doesn’t need or want Times Square tourist hype…I know the Bloomberg people think of Manhattan as one big mall (except maybe for 79th between 5th and Madison where Lord Bloomy has his estate), but many of us have lived here for decades and don’t want this sort of thing in our community, and certainly not in our faces.

  • JJ Walker

    Wahhh… Cry baby libs… If you don’t like it leave! These are the same people that think they should make 250k/yr for knitting quilts. This idiot needs to move back to where ever they came from… Its like moving next to an airport and then complaining about the noise… LOSER!

    • Scott on the UWS

      um, the store just opened, she didn’t move next to the store, the store and the sign moved next to her…perhaps it’s you that should go back to where you came from, and learn some reading comprehension while you’re at it.

    • Mike Hunt

      sorry you cant afford nyc JJ. maybe Walmart will promote you to stock boy someday…

  • Ron Darcy

    You rent/bought a place on Broadway in the city and your complaining about bright lights…what were you the traffic and horn honking a problem….go move back to your farms near the cemetary, “MR> Douglass”

    • Scott on the UWS

      no, this was a quiet corner before the store and its sign moved in last week…why don’t you go back to where you came from, and learn to read?

  • common sense man

    Ever heard of a thing called curtains/window blinds.

    • JJ Walker

      They can probably pick them up across the street at Duane Reade…. ha

    • jack tripper

      i like when people leave the blinds open, its hot

  • jack

    Has anyone noticed that there is now a bank and pharmacy every four feet in NYC? Wake up people, i think we have more than neon lights at stake here. Gotta love the effect corporate-socialism has had on our has-been city.

  • Saul

    i like the sign. it brings some life the to neighborhood

    • voiceofreason

      So not only are the giant corporate drug companies killing us, they get to do their victory dance in the form of a neon light. Lovely.
      I’d have more respect if it were a independently owned strip club.

    • mchamma

      Upper west side sux azz nothing but Jews who complain about everything … especially if you hang a merry Xmas sign

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