Roadside signs sprouting like weeds

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 11, 2014

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation, Operations and Maintenance Division

Spring is here and signs are sprouting like weeds along Washington County roads. Illegally placed signs block driver visibility and pedestrian access, and compete with important traffic control signs for driver attention.

IllegalSignsAccording to Land Use & Transportation operations manager Dave Schamp, "Signs placed illegally along the road generate safety issues and many citizen complaints, so periodically we concentrate on rounding them up. Naturally the problem peaks just prior to elections, but we don't discriminate--political, real estate, garage sale--we take them all."

The majority of signs are removed by community service workers who, under the supervision of county employees, cruise the main roads favored by sign owners. The confiscated materials are recycled when possible or disposed of at the landfill.

The public should never place signs in the road right-of-way, which generally includes the roadway, ditches, shoulders and sidewalks--basically all the area between the utility poles on both sides of the road. Signs must also not be placed on traffic signposts, power poles or signal cabinets.

Washington County's prohibition of roadside signs applies to all county roads outside of cities. For state highway sign regulations, check with the Oregon Department of Transportation. And for county roads inside a city, contact the city road agency.

Related: Roadside Signs Fact Sheet

Washington County is committed to planning, building and maintaining a great transportation system, ensuring the safety of all roadway users, and to operating the county roadway system in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

Media Contact:

Stephen Roberts, Communications Coordinator