Just like our email, spam is beginning to take over our roads and streets. Illegal street signs are not just unsightly, they are distracting and unsafe to drivers. It also costs taxpayers money to remove them. You can follow these steps to ensure you remove street signs safely and legally.
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Understand local ordinances. Most locations have ordinances that restrict where signs can be placed and the type of signs that can be displayed. Read up on local policies and contact local enforcement to determine what signs on public property are illegal.
Spot an illegal street sign. These signs are normally posted on utility poles, at roadway intersections and many other locations along highways. These signs are typically colorful and advertise products and services that are not local.
Contact street sign enforcement officials. Local Code Enforcement should be contacted to report the illegal street signs and request its removal. Contact your local Department of Transportation to report signs on public highway right of ways.
Encourage community involvement. When community members protest illegal street signs enforcement agencies may create tougher laws to prosecute offenders and budget more money for their removal. Contact your city council and write letters to the editors of local newspapers with complaints.
Take care of the sign yourself. Cutting out or blacking out the contact information prevents the advertiser from getting any responses to his illegal sign. Simple tools such as box and carpet cutters can be used to remove the sign. For signs out of reach tools attached to a long pole are typically used.
Tips and warnings
- Find out about any volunteer programs that allow community members to remove street signs and litter.
- Be sure to pick up any litter or nails that results from your cutting or removing a sign. If removing a sign yourself use caution to avoid coming into contact with electrical wires when using tools.
- Only remove signs posted on public property. When removing a street sign do not block traffic, or break any traffic laws.
- Do not remove any street signs without first contacting local Code Enforcement and the Department of Transportation. Because of liability issues and safety concerns they may encourage you to leave street sign removal to them.
- Confronting a street spammer by phone or in person could be dangerous and should be avoided.