Newsrack Enforcement

CIVITAS is a vocal advocate for regulating the proliferating nuisance of abandoned, vandalized, and poorly maintained newsrack boxes on sidewalks and busy street corners.



We are working closely with many other civic organizations throughout New York City to ensure compliance with the newsrack law of 2002, which was amended in 2004 to eliminate the requirement to maintain dirt and graffiti free newsracks.  The current regulations for publishers as well as a complete list of violations can be found on the NYC Department of Transportation’s newsrack website:

These multiboxes (Madison Avenue BID, left and 34th Street Partnership, right) illustrate a clean alternative to the free standing news boxes that are often neglected.

We encourage you to urge NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (Manhattan, District 10), chair of the NYC Council Transportation Committee, to schedule an oversight hearing to address the burgeoning problem of increased numbers and poor maintenance of newsracks:

–  Sign our online petition:

–  Write a letter, (Click here for a sample letter). Be sure to carbon copy your local council members and:

NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
250 Broadway, Suite 1731
New York, NY 10007

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10007


Commissioner Polly Trottenberg
NYC Department of Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10041

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
250 Broadway, Suite 1856
New York, New York 10007
(212) 788-6960

Report newsrack violations by calling 311 or on 311 online (

To report violations by calling 311:

State the location, address, or intersection

  • The complaint will go to the NYC Dept. of Transportation – DOT is responsible for street furniture.
  • Describe the violation, i.e.:

1) “The boxes are in a bus stop, which is illegal.”

2) “The A-1 Box has been on the city streets for 1 & 1/2 years and has never been filled.”

  • Make note of the confirmation number so that you can follow up.


CIVITAS in the News:

July 2011 “Group Blasts Learning Annex Boxes as a Sidewalk Blight”

Wall Street Journal “Much Ado About boxes” and CIVITAS’ Letter to the Editor

National Public Radio WFUV “Upper West Siders Fight to Rid Streets of Dirty Newspaper Boxes” “Upper West Siders Join Battle Against Grimy Newspaper Boxes”

April 2011

Watch a video of Executive Director Hunter Armstrong discussing the newsrack issue on WPIX11 News.

March 2011 “Upper East Siders Battle Newspaper Boxes”

Our Town Letter to the Editor “Tidier Newsracks”

Additional Resources:

Community Resolutions and Letters of Support:

Tribeca Trust – 2013

NYC BID Association – 2013

Association of Residential Boards – 2012

Historic Districts Council – 2012

Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) – 2012

Save Chelsea – 2011

Women’s City Club – 2012

Elected Officials and Community Boards:

Council Member Gale Brewer, Manhattan District 6 – 2013

Council Member James Vacca, Transportation Committee Chair – 2012

Manhattan Borough Board – 2011

Manhattan CB1 (Lower Manhattan) – 2011

Manhattan CB2 (Greenwich Village) – 2011

Manhattan CB6 (Stuyvesant Town, Tudor City, Turtle Bay, Peter Cooper Village, Murray Hill, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Sutton Place) – 2011

Manhattan CB7 (Upper West Side) – 2006 and 2011

Manhattan CB8 (Upper East Side) – 2006 and 2011

Manhattan CB11 (East Harlem) – 2011

Read more about our Newsrack Enforcement Initiatives in the spring 2013 issue of CIVITAS News:

 Extra! Extra! City Bans Newsracks!