Thursday, April 25, 2013

Um, you can't do that

I'm not under any sort of delusion about the relative beauty of Rockville Pike, particularly as it runs through North FlintVille. Parking lots, strip malls, car dealerships, gas stations, few trees and a crummy sidewalk don't exactly make for an aesthetically pleasing experience.

But do we have to make it worse?

You've probably seen these signs all up and down Rockville Pike (and other thoroughfares): signs advertising cheap massages, rug stores that are perpetually going out of business, cash 4 gold, you name it--it's a veritable Yellow Pages out there. And it's also illegal.

It may not occur to some people, but those signs are all in the public space, and they have no right to be there. Aside from making the streetscape of the Pike that much more unattractive, they're an illegal use of public space for private advertising purposes. Sometimes the County sends out a team to clear them out; this spring when some heartless individual put up a bunch of them in the median strip on the Montrose Bridge that was full of blooming daffodils. But most of the time they remain there for weeks, or months, on end, cluttering up sidewalks and intersections.

So, take this as a PSA: if you're out walking around the neighborhood and you see one (or 20) of these signs, contribute a bit towards cleaning up the area and put the signs where I put them last weekend:


  1. How do you know what spaces are public vs. private? For instance, I think I've often noticed signs near the intersection of Nicholson Ln and Nicholson Ct, in front of the shopping center southeast of the intersection. Are those on public land, or is that owned by the shopping center?

    I'm all for cleaning up this mess but I don't want to accidentally pull something on private property.

  2. I'm not familiar with that particular intersection as I don't walk by there that frequently--my travels typically take me along the Pike. Typically, if it's in a median, an intersection island or in a strip between the sidewalk and the street, it's public land. Beyond that, it's hard to know, and I typically don't remove signs planted in places beyond those I mentioned above. But the people posting massage signs and whatnot typically only put them in places such as median strips and traffic islands, because those are the most visible.

    Also illegal: attaching signs to utility poles. I've removed a few of those as well.


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