Simple steps to follow when you spot a makeshift, illegally posted sign in your neighborhood
By Mohammed Nuru (@MrCleanSF)
Homemade, handmade, and hastily posted signs posted all over the City contribute to blight, distract from the natural beauty of the neighborhoods, and are illegal. I encourage you to act now with this simple solution: rip â€˜em down and recycle â€˜em as you see them.
Standing at a bus stop and see a garage sale sign taped to the glass? Eye a flyer stapled to the utility pole? Rip it down
and recycle it. Easy as that.
As I travel around the City, I marvel at each of the distinctive and beautiful neighborhoods that are truly the characterand foundation of our world-renowned urban habitat. The historic public art, innovative urban designs and creative use of space sets apart San Francisco neighborhoods as hotspots for pride, personality and livability.
The perpetual plastering of stapled and taped-up postings and temporary, DIY flyers leads to chaos and a kind of lawlessness that is degradation to the community.
Yes, there are official guidelines and restrictions for posting signs on public property: where they can be posted and how. How many have taken the time to study these rules? And imagine the resources involved in monitoring each utility pole. Think of how much time it would take for a crew to seek out every flyer, dispose of it and hold the posting party in question accountable.
Thatâ€™s why I ask you to join in on being a part of the solution: rip the posters down and recycle them whenever you see them. And when you observe an illegally posted sign repeatedly and if it is a chronic offender, report it to 311.
The sign-posting requirements were established to reduce litter and blight and minimize obstruction to ensure safety.
Quick guide to the rules:
- Signs must not be larger than a standard piece of paper.
- You canâ€™t use tape or string.
- The sign canâ€™t be placed higher than 12 feet from the ground.
- It MUST have the posting date, and
- MUST be removed within ten days after an event or election date.
Public Works has the authority to remove prohibited signs and administer penalties of up to $500 for chronicÂ offenders. If DPW sees the same sign over and over, then crews will seek to hold the person or company posting the signs accountable.
On top of reporting and removing signs, you can also help by promoting alternatives to the posters. Utilize other methods of getting information out to your neighbors. Quick and easy ideas include using Craigslist; neighborhood social media accounts and blogs (like Haighteration and Ocean Beach Bulletin), and even innovative Smartphone apps (like Blockboard for the Mission). Tell others how to access these tools and encourage community members to incorporate them in neighborhood communications.
If you are interested in getting a FREE scraping tool from DPW, all you need to do is sign up for Adopt-a-Street. It takes a second. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and write â€œI want to pull down and scrape off illegally posted signs in my neighborhoodâ€.
There are several groups of concerned residents who are a part of the movement to keep the City free of illegal postings. They are fed up with garage sale signs flapping in the wind, tired of carelessly posted campaigns signs and outdated event posters, and sick of the taped-up, hand-drawn flyers that are just plain unsightly to look at. These residents are leading by example: when they see â€˜em, they pull â€˜em down.
I invite you to do the same.
Interim Director, Department of Public Works
If you have any good ideas to help with this issue, send a tweet to @MrCleanSF.