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Illegal Signs Costing State $16M to Clear From Roadside

Posted March 30, 2007

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— Campaign signs, real estate signs, signs that push a cause -- they are all over state roadsides, and they are illegal.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the state spends about $16 million a year on roadside cleanup efforts.

It also takes too much time and too many people to clear all the sign clutter, DOT engineers say.

"It takes a lot of time away from our folks from their normal jobs to go out there and remove those signs again and again. It's against the law," DOT division engineer Wally Bowman said. "If our workers are out there picking up signs, that means they're not patching pot holes, they're not cleaning ditches and clearing out drain pipes."

The city of Raleigh began enforcing an ordinance on temporary signs in May 2005. During the next two months, officials issued about 200 citations. The city has since made the ordinance permanent.


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  • El Doggo Apr 1, 2007

    You can see from the picture that the BOARD OF REALTORS think they own the roadside and are above the laws that the rest of us must live by!

    They have been paying people, for years, to go out friday nights and put out all of the signs and then return Sunday nights and pick them up again. You will see pickups with trailers stopping at intersections to pick up or drop off signs EVERY WEEKEND. B.O.R. pays big buck to structure around the rules and clutter intersections with "house for sale" signs.

    This is just another example of why we don't have transfer fees in this county, yet...

  • El Doggo Apr 1, 2007

    cazman, that is too creative for DOT to figure out.

    If it is a realty sign, add up all the signs, multiply the fine by the number of signs and send a bill for the fine to the realty headquarters.

  • cazman99 Apr 1, 2007

    just take the signs back from the place on the signs and charge them

  • North Carolina Native Apr 1, 2007

    ohhh so that's why the pot holes don't get fixed and the dead animals lay there for a month!! Now I know the reason... whew I can sleep better tonight now!

  • momof2 Apr 1, 2007

    Travised--you weren't supposed to see any signs during the last election but I think there are some politicians who believe the sign ordinance does not include them. I was at the Raleigh City Council meeting when the sign ordinance was being discussed (about 2 years ago) and thought it quite funny when the City Attorney informed Council members that the ordinance did include them! That was priceless!

  • alwayslovingu30 Apr 1, 2007

    16 mill give me A break they dont even try to repair the roads or have A clue how to 3 were working an 6 were watching can Iget A job with the stsate I need A pay check an A license to observe I will pick up signs during crook season big money there.the light poles around n.c.state look like rash stapled to death

  • Get a clue Mar 31, 2007

    I'll pick every single sign up in Wake County for 20 grand. I bet the state had to hire an outside agency to come in and show them the best plan of action to clean up the signs. Cost= 15,999,999. Cost to actually pick up signs= $1.00

  • Travised Mar 31, 2007

    Does this mean come elections I won't be seeing the politicians GARBAGE on the side of the road for the first time; thank the stars!!

  • 2dinks Mar 31, 2007

    Angry Independent has a great idea. Let Captiolizing Citezens go out and pick up the signs. You could give them 5 dollars a sign and it would be cheaper than paying salaried state employees to go out and do it.

  • scubasteve Mar 31, 2007

    Can anyone cite a statute on this? I've poked around on ncleg.net and came up empty.