New York City’s “Don’t Honk” signs are coming down, but it’s still against the law to blow a car horn unnecessarily.
The city Department of Transportation says all the signs will be removed by the end of the year.
According to The New York Times, which called honking “the signature act of the New York City road,” city officials say the decision is part of an effort to de-clutter the streets of signs that generally go ignored.
Unnecessary honking carries a $350 fine but is rarely enforced. “Blowing the horn is a fact of life, part of the fabric and culture of the city,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesman for AAA New York. “If it weren’t there, people would wonder.”
The DOT says complaints about honking have declined 63 percent since 2008.
But City Councilwoman Gale Brewer said in a letter to the DOT: “I can’t tell you how many requests I get for ‘no honking’ signs.”
The Times noted that complaints to 311 about horn honking have dropped throughout the city to 1,796 in 2012, a drop of 63 percent. This is not definitive; people’s tolerance for noise may have risen.
The signs were introduced during Mayor Ed Koch’s administration.