Concord cracks down on visual pollution

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The city of Concord wants the word to get out that it is illegal to post signs on telephone poles and street signs.

One person's yard sale sign is another's blight. In Concord there is a crackdown on all the illegal signs that often litter the public's property. At least that's the message the city of Concord wants to send its residents.

Concord has seen quite enough of those often homemade signs that pop up all over town, usually on light or power poles. And after years of quietly tearing them down, the city wants to put out the word to citizens -- a friendly yet strong reminder that posting signs on telephone poles or street signs is illegal.

"The law is that signs placed in the right of way, even these what I would call temporary signs, whether they're nailed or taped to a utility pole or a street light pole, are illegal," Concord Public Works director Justin Ezell said.

"We dedicate every Monday, we do it," Chad Freitas said.

Freitas and his partner are the crew regularly assigned to sign abatement -- that is one day each week is devoted to cruising Concord's neighborhoods looking for illegal signs to remove.

Freitas says the time spent doing this takes them away from other tasks, like street repair and maintenance.

"It takes us away from other duties of the markings on the roads, painting and thermaling, stuff like that," Freitas said.

Concord resident Becky Henderson said, "It's a mess, it's trashy." She thinks the city's effort is a good one, but it should be up to the person who put up the sign to take it down.

Right now, the city just wants cooperation, but the law does allow for fines for especially bold or repeat offenders.
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