Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Town Bans "Sandwich" Signs From Sidewalks

Political Signs, On The Other Hand . . .

Those signs and placards posted along Main Street in America's largest township may soon become a thing of the past, now being officially banned -- as dangers and nuisances -- by the Town of Hempstead.

Sure, ban business advertising on the street corner -- those "walking billboards" that are "distracting to motorists" -- but take no action vis-a-vis those equally distracting, and more than unsightly political placards and signs that mar the landscape along Main Street from early summer through (and often, way past) election day.

A sign advertising a sale -- typically, in these times in this town, a "GOING OUT OF BUSINESS" sale -- are verboten, but signs touting the accomplishments of local politicos, urging motorists and passerbys to elect or return someone to office, are okay.

Talk about a self-serving double standard!

In fact, late last year, the Hempstead Town Board passed an ordinance making the posting of those pesky campaign signs legal. Would you believe?

As we all have seen, some of these political placards are themselves larger than life billboards, distracting the attention of motorists, blocking lines of vision, and serving to uglify congested areas of the town that, for the most part, need no help in the uglification process.

Why is not what's good for the goose also good for the gander?

Well, simply take a gander at the objectives of elected officials in the town that time -- and any progress toward the 21st century -- forgot.

Apparently, returning elected officials to office, and the signs that help them get there, trump safety and aesthetics every time.

Watch for Town of Hempstead inspectors, and other Town employees, to vigorously enforce this new sandwich sign ban, deeming every placard posted by a political opponent, sandwiched or otherwise, to be in violation, carting the signs away in Town trucks, and swiftly replacing each and every one with a RETURN KATE MURRAY banner.

Ahhh. Code Enforcement at its very best in America's most blighted township.

Trusted on Main Street? Plastered all over Main Street is much more like it!
Readers of this blog comment:
"There is a little memorial park in Merrick (Bellmore?) next to RS Jones and the sign attributed to (Kate) Murray is larger than the sign of the memorial....sick."

And another:
"We can finally have the public greens (see Long Beach Road) not trashed with election signage every October and November..."

And one more:
"Would that we no longer had the 'distraction' of all those signs thanking Kate Murray for doing her job -- or not!"
- - -
From Newsday:

Sandwich signs banned from Hempstead sidewalks

People who walk along major roadways, adorned with two-sided billboards or sandwich signs promoting everything from furniture outlets to clothing stores, are now banned from public sidewalks in Hempstead Town, thanks to a local law proposed by Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes.

The town board passed the legislation in April, calling these "walking billboards" a nuisance and a danger.

"These signs are distracting to motorists and, as a result, present a genuine danger," Murray said in a statement. "On a windy day the signs could either fly off the person and damage a passing vehicle or could drag the person wearing the sign into oncoming traffic."

Town officials said they did not know of any such accidents.

Murray said the signs also put the lives of those who wear them in danger as they traverse busy roads with "bulky" signs. The new law would limit signs advertising businesses to the property where the business is located. Murray and Hudes said many residents have contacted town officials expressing safety concerns and voicing dissatisfaction with the "unsightliness of the wearable sandwich signs."

The new legislation will be enforced by local police and town building inspectors, town officials said. Those who do not comply with this ban will receive a fine.


Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.

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