Oct. 25, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The illegal Cash-For-Cars signs that can be found throughout Queens have caught the attention of an elected official.
State Senator Tony Avella, who represents a large portion of central Queens, announced his intention to take action against these signs last week after receiving many complaints from his constituents and witnessing someone putting up the signs for himself.
He took a photograph of a man putting up the signs from a tow truck, and sent them along with a letter asking for stronger action by the Department of Sanitation.
“Every community in New York understands how much of an eyesore these illegal signs can be. Residents have complained for years about these signs but very little, if anything, is ever done,” Avella said in a statement.
“Now that we have identified one of the companies posting these signs, I hope Sanitation can take aggressive action to put an end to this horrible trend.”
Though Avella’s district primarily covers the neighborhoods of Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bayside, the signs are spread all over western Queens as well.
Department of Sanitation Kathy Dawkins explained that while posting the signs on public property is illegal, it is often very hard to track down those responsible, as many of the phone numbers on the signs lead to throwaway phones.
Dawkins claimed that the Sanitation Department does take the signs down and said that the department had taken down thousands of citywide, although she did not provide a time frame or any detailed information.
The penalty for a first time offense is a fine of between $75 and $200, as well as the cost of removal, and any subsequent offense carries a fine of $150 to $300.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office, which primarily represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, has not received any constituent complaints concerning these signs, according to a spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, Councilman Costa Constantinides, who represents Astoria and East Elmhurst, chose not to comment on the matter.