18 March 2011

Sign Blight - Help us shame these lawbreakers

Rule 24-108 in the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations gives guidance on the placement of signs, posters, and placards in the city's public space. Subsection 2 reads, "The placing of any advertisement on any tree in public space is prohibited." That means the signs below are not legal. Period.

In addition, these signs are nailed to the trees. The first sign (apologies for the quality) is nailed to a willow oak near the corner of Neal Street and Montello Avenue NE, and the second and third signs are nailed to a sycamore tree at West Virginia Avenue and Penn Street NE. Putting holes in our mature, beautiful street trees causes them harm; creating wounds such as this give insects and fungi access to the heart of the trees.

These signs are placed in low-income neighborhoods by people who try to use the lure of cash to get people who might be down on their luck to sell their homes for pennies on the dollar. Beside the fact that these signs are illegal, ugly, and harmful, they're also exploitative.

I'm proposing that we call them and register our displeasure and disgust. The number on these signs is 703-910-5173. Call them and tell them to take the signs down because they're damaging trees. Call them and tell them to take the signs down because they're illegal. And call them and tell them to take the signs down because we don't need their kind trying to drive the working poor from their homes in order for a short-term infusion of cash, while they get rich off of this exploitation.

Please take a minute of your day, it's not much, but if enough people do, maybe we can make our voices heard.


If you want to take it one further, call 202-455-6129. That's not the number on the signs below, but it is the direct line to the company that put the signs up. I've documented many signs here around Trinidad. Some I was able to remove myself because they were only 6 or 7 feet off the ground. Some of these signs are 13 to 15 feet off the ground, though - out of reach without a ladder. Give them the same hell you'd give to the jerks who nailed the signs to the trees.

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You can be curmudgeonly too, but let's try to be civil and constructive here, ok?