For the last few weeks I've admired these new parking signs in the Chelsea, New York neighborhood that my office is in. I'm surprised the city used what appear to be high-quality materials and a clean design for both the form and the typography. It looks like something out of Northern Europe. I checked around online and couldn't immediately find any reference to these. Perhaps these are the result of a business improvement district and city partnership, or maybe test models.
Given the uneven track record of city agencies in carrying out revisions to signage, I'm not holding out hope this represents the future of signage in NYC. Paul Shaw recently wrote an article for the AIGA that covers the history of Helvetica as the typface of the MTA subway signage. Beyond the typical organizational cluelessness and inertia that dogged the rollout of a modern wayfinding system, relevant to today is the issue of cost - replacing signage in the subway system, let alone the city streets, must be a huge expenditure. Returning to the design of the signs, it would seem the city has invested in a quality fixture, with a solid base bolted to the street (assume it breaks on impact, sparing the cost of a new one and tearing up the sidewalk to replace), and an interchangeable and adjustable upper portion that is removed with a simple bolt. I'd be curious to know more about these.