NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sign intended to keep city streets safe seemed to have the opposite effect on the West Side of Manhattan Thursday.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, motorists said the sign was jutting out into traffic on Eleventh Avenue. And they wanted to know whose bright idea it was.

This electronic board flashes “drive safely,” notes that 25 mph is the speed limit, and plugs the Vision Zero campaign to eliminate traffic deaths.

They were helpful hints, motorists said, but their placement was perplexing.

“It’s crazy,” one man said. “It’s ridiculous.”

The sign board was blocking the far left lane of jammed Eleventh Avenue just south of busy 42nd Street, near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.

“We don’t need that sign there,” said Matt Dee.

Putting the sign in a lane of traffic resulted in extra honking, and too many close calls. CBS2 saw a box truck barely scraping by because of the sign.

“I have no idea why it’s there,” the box truck driver said.

“It could’ve scratched my car,” another motorist said.

An NYPD traffic enforcement agent wanted the sign gone.

“It shouldn’t be (there),” the agent said.

“Honestly, they could put it on the sidewalk,” added Dee.

CBS2 reached the New York City Department of Transportation, asking who made the decision to put the sign in traffic. The DOT’s only response initially was that it was “looking in to the matter.”

“They should get someone to move it now,” one woman said.

But not long after CBS2’s call to bosses, DOT workers showed up. They lifted the supports, packed up the portable board, and finally rolled it out of everyone’s way.

For the second half of the rush hour on Thursday, drivers had the lane back – unobstructed. They said the fact that the DOT swooped in to move that sign so quickly proves it never should have been there in the first place.


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