Warnings started being issued on 1 October but, starting 1 January 2012, fines up to $25 per sign will be issued by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) for illegal commercial signs.
The law allows SHA and local governments to recover the costs of removing illegal signs from state-maintained highways. This affects any road with a number, like University Boulevard (Route 193) and Colesville Road (Route 29).
In November, I saw a man on a ladder cutting down signs that had been posted about 10 feet off the ground on telephone poles on Colesville Road just off Southwood Avenue, so the SHA is definitely working on it.
SHA is responsible for more than 17,000 miles of roadway statewide, including the maintenance and regulation of outdoor advertising. Crews pick up illegal signs throughout the year, which costs taxpayers $600,000 annually.
Along state highways — including interstates and U.S. and Maryland numbered routes — private signs are prohibited in the medians and along the sides on the public property or right-of-way. The illegal signs are often found attached to utility poles or stacked together on wooden posts littering medians.
Illegal signs distract drivers and can impede the sight distance for drivers and block legal signs from view. These signs also “affect maintenance operations, interfere with the work of utility crews, and mar the landscape along Maryland’s scenic routes,” said the SHA.
To learn more, visit www.roads.maryland.gov. ■
© 2011 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn201112e.html]