Tag Archives: sign

‘Welcome to Hamilton Beach’ sign and guardrail protecting it destroyed in hit-and-run

| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Roger Gendron

A hit-and-run happened in Hamilton Beach. The victim: a beloved, handmade 2-by-3-foot wooden welcome sign crafted by a neighborhood resident.

The sign that welcomed visitors to Hamilton Beach, along with a guardrail and a city traffic sign, was located at the beginning of Hamilton Beach where vehicles cross into the community from Old Howard Beach.

The accident occurred in the beginning of December, but the motorist who caused the damage has yet to be caught. The guardrail is smashed almost 2 feet back, the two-way-traffic sign is knocked down behind the rail and the Hamilton Beach sign was cracked in the middle with letters and decorations missing.

It was removed to see if there was a possibility to have it repaired, but Roger Gendron, president of the Hamilton Beach Civic Association, was just told it was unfixable, and the neighborhood now has to look to purchase a new sign.

“I can’t imagine how fast this person must have been going to hit the rail that hard and knock it back so far,” Gendron said. “Thank God no one was hurt, but now we have to get it fixed and get a new sign.”

When crossing into Hamilton Beach from Old Howard Beach, a vehicle must go over a bridge with a slight incline. But, the high point of that bridge, which crosses over Hawtree Creek, is at least 50 feet if not more before the guardrail and sign, giving drivers an ample amount of time to see the stop sign at the corner before entering the neighborhood.

ham beach sign 3

When Gendron first noticed the sign was down he went down to further inspect the area and see if he could find any clues as to who may have done the damage. He found a piece of the car with the vehicle identification number on it, which he turned over to police at the 106th Precinct.

The crash is still under investigation, but just last week, the precinct removed an abandoned car from the neighborhood with a Pennsylvania license plate. The car’s front end was smashed in. It is not confirmed if that was the vehicle that caused the damage, but Gendron said it would definitely fit the description with how much damage was done to it.

The next step for the neighborhood is to get the guardrail fixed, erect a new pole for the two-way sign and put up a new welcome sign. Gendron has been in touch with Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office to see if the councilman can help get a Department of Transportation crew assigned to fix the two-way sign and guardrail. He is currently looking for someone or some business willing to make a new welcome sign. Gendron priced out a couple of signs but was astonished when he saw that many cost over $3,000. He has toyed with the possibility of starting a “Go Fund Me” page to see if he could get enough donations to buy a new sign but he hasn’t committed to it yet as he is exploring other options.

“We need a new sign for the neighborhood,” Gendron said. “I don’t know how we will get it yet, but we will.”




JetBlue sign touches down in LIC

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the JetBlue sign!

The enormous cobalt insignia, looming atop the Brewster Building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, now speckles the skyline. The nearly 40-foot-tall sign — the marker of a controversial business move — has been installed over the past couple weeks and is expected to be ready for takeoff sometime in the next week after lighting tests are completed on the structure.

“We are proud to be New York’s hometown airline with the largest domestic presence at JFK Airport,” said JetBlue spokesperson Allison Steinberg. “We’re proud to keep our headquarters here in New York and in Queens. [The sign] really cements our position here and our presence in New York City.”

According to Steinberg, the logo was designed as an honor to Long Island City’s other iconic signs, including the memorable Pepsi and Silvercup emblems that welcome visitors journeying over the Queensboro Bridge. The sign will light up blue during the day and shine bright white at night.

In April, the city council voted unanimously to approve a zoning amendment — after a push from JetBlue — that would grant companies the ability to erect signs on non-residential buildings along a 14-block stretch of the Queens Plaza sub-district, running between 23rd Street and the Sunnyside railroad yard.

JetBlue houses roughly 1,000 workers in Long Island City, making it one of the biggest employers in the area.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Jennifer Dudek who runs ice cream shop Malu on Jackson Avenue. “This is a great neighborhood and JetBlue is a good neighbor.”

Dudek, whose store catered JetBlue’s opening weekend, is confident the sign will help bring more foot traffic to the neighborhood’s many shops and restaurants.

“I think them putting a sign up just makes it more permanent,” she said.

JetBlue sign will grace L.I.C. sky

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Following a year of cutting through red tape – and mulling a move to Florida – JetBlue has been given the green light to provide Long Island City with a “sign” that they are here to stay.

The City Council voted unanimously on April 30 to approve a zoning amendment allowing companies to construct signs on non-residential buildings along 14 blocks of a

Queens Plaza sub-district – which runs between 23rd Street and the Sunnyside railroad yard.

The changes were pushed by JetBlue so the airline could construct a sign of its logo on the rooftop of its new headquarters in the Brewster Building, located at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in L.I.C.

JetBlue was considering departing New York and landing in Orlando last year, but was ultimately enticed into staying by a city package consisting of tax exemptions and marketing-relating incentives – reportedly reaching $30 million. The airline moved to the Brewster Building on April 4, bringing 1,000 of its 5,300 Queens-based employees to L.I.C.

“We are New York’s hometown airline and this sign will reinforce our status as an iconic New York brand,” said Tamara Young, manager of corporate communications for JetBlue. “We are proud to be here and we are proud to be a neighbor in L.I.C. We want to introduce ourselves to our neighbors and be a part of the driving force in the development that is taking place in the neighborhood. This sign is a way to do that.”

The proposed placard will be formed out of a steel box with an acrylic face and will be illuminated at night by high efficiency LED light strips, making the letters blue during the day and appear white after sundown. It will be 42 feet high and 75 feet wide – with the tallest letter reaching 25 feet – and will encompass similar qualities to other historic advertisements across the neighborhood, including the Silvercup and Pepsi signs. If no other obstacles are encountered, JetBlue believes the sign will be installed early in the fall.

Zoning regulations put in place in 2001 restricted the height of new signs in manufacturing districts to 40 feet above curb level. In order to rewrite the rules, JetBlue initially had to receive approval from Community Boards (CB) 1 and 2. Although CB 1 passed the airline’s application, the board members did suggest the “rooftop sign be limited to a tenant that occupied a minimum of 25 percent of the total building area” and that subleasing not be allowed. CB 2 voted unanimously against the changes, citing the “lack of oversight and community input and comment on any future rooftop signs.”

CB 2 was reportedly concerned that too many signs would sprout up on neighborhood buildings, causing a similar scene to Las Vegas or Times Square.
Dutch Kills Civic Association President Jerry Walsh believes the zoning rules should not be comprehensive, but each case should be studied independently.
“I think each sign should be looked at individually. It shouldn’t be a blanket thing,” Walsh said. “You have to be a major renter of the building to put a sign up. You can’t live in a closet and expect to get a sign up. We don’t want to see flashing signs like on 42nd Street.”

To ease community apprehension, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer worked with the Department of City Planning to rework the amendment – stipulating that only tenants that occupied 20 percent or 50,000 square feet of a building could erect a sign on its roof.

CB 2 subsequently approved the proposal, followed by a City Council subcommittee on zoning and the entire council.

Van Bramer said he is not worried about the area resembling the glitzy midtown Manhattan attraction due to the few buildings that are eligible to apply for signs. The councilmember went on to say he believes the number of signs will ultimately be minimal, while the passage of the amendment is an important step for JetBlue’s success.

“I think the arrival of JetBlue is great news for L.I.C.,” Van Bramer said. “Its sign will be a visual reminder of the transformation and rebirth of the Dutch Kills and Queens Plaza area. I think it will be a sign that L.I.C. is open for business and good for business. JetBlue brings vitality and energy and life. I hope it will attract more businesses to come to Queens Plaza, Dutch Kills and L.I.C.”

A welcoming sign in Richmond Hill

| rcasiano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Ricky Casiano  The “Welcome to Richmond Hill” sign stands on a triangle at an intersection between Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo and community leaders unveiled a new sign on Monday, November 7, welcoming all of Queens to Richmond Hill.

The “Welcome to Richmond Hill” sign stands on a triangle at an intersection between Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street.

Local realtor Romeo Hitlall worked for four-and-a-half years with Addabbo and others to put the sign up. He said it represents the growing South Asian and West Indian commercial strip.

“I can’t say enough of Romeo, who showed that persistence pays off,” Addabbo said. “This is a great, diverse community. They deserve a sign.”

Hitlall will also maintain the new sign and triangle space. The sign — as well as newly-planted shrubs and greenery — have replaced the trash that used to be there.

“This makes good use of the space,” Hitlall said. “People like the idea of cleaning up the community.”

Richmond Hill resident Diana Allie said the sign was a good addition to the area.

“This will keep it peaceful for the kids and parents,” said Allie, who lost her son to violence a year ago.