One-Man 'Metropolitan Etiquette Authority' Takes On Rude, Crude & Obnoxious

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The blocks of New York City are loaded with signs from ‘No Parking’ to ‘Clean Up After Your Dog.’

Out of all the signs on the city streets, those posted by the one-man manners squad known as the Metropolitan Etiquette Authority seem to be getting the most attention.

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“Pay attention while walking. Your Facebook status update can wait,” reads one on West 15th Street and 9th Avenue.

Another states, “Pull up your pants. No one wants to see your underwear.”

The signs are courtesy of Jason Shelowitz — a man with a mission.

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“You’ve got kids walking around with their pants around their knees that are really tight and they can’t even walk,” Shelowitz tells CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

He’s sick of the not-so-brief boxer-baring trend and decided to hit the streets on politeness patrol to bring attention to an issue that’s already become controversial.

In 2009, officials in Paterson, N.J. cracked down on baggy britches with signs comparing people who wear them to criminals.

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Earlier this year, court officers in New York City joined in booting people in saggy pants from courtrooms.

Not only is Shelowitz encouraging a dress code, he’s also alerting people to other rude behavior such as dropping cigarette butts.

One of the etiquette signs popping up around NYC on Sept. 13, 2012. (credit: Jesse Zanger/CBS)

It’s a small step that he hopes will impact the city in a big way.

“I’m kind of realizing I’ve tapped into something and I’m saying something most people are thinking and if they just get people talking then I think I’ve done my job,” he says.

Shelowitz tells WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman he has street sign vendors create the notices. So far, he has put up about 80 signs across Manhattan and has spent a total of $2,000.

Though it’s illegal to put up these types of signs on city property, Shelowitz said the police don’t seem to mind them.

“I’m sure that there is some law against this. I haven’t really researched it, but the message is positive,” he says. “[I’m] not defacing property and they are not blocking any important signs. They’re just sort of there as an extra thing for pedestrians to see.”

He’s planning on expanding his crusade to the outer boroughs in the next few days.

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What do you think about this project? Is it a good idea? Should he be allowed to keep putting up his own signs? Sound off in the comments section below!