Local News

Illegal Signs Costing State $16M to Clear From Roadside

Posted March 30, 2007 5:51 p.m. EDT

— 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.