Politicians, residents told to watch placement of campaign advertising
Thursday, March 27, 2014 11:00 AM
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials have told politicians and residents to watch where they place campaign and advertising signs on state highway rights of way.
Any signs illegally placed on state highway rights of way will be removed to maintain safety, a KYTC release said. Officials cautioned area residents as signs seem to show up along state highways in greater numbers the month before elections.
Kentucky law and the state's transportation cabinet policy prohibits the placement of political or any other advertising signs on state rights of way - including signs attached to utility poles or fences. Homeowners who maintain their property to pavement edges also are asked to keep yard signs out of the state right of way line, the release said.
"With a local election gearing up, we tend to see a lot of signs placed along state rights of way," Rob Hans, chief district engineer for District 6, said in a release. "Political signs and other advertising signs can block the view of drivers at intersections as they watch for oncoming traffic."
Several campaign signs have been removed in Carroll County, Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson said during a Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday.
Carroll County Jailer Michael Humphrey said Tuesday several signs for his re-election campaign have been removed, even though workers had to cross ditches to remove the signs.
The state transportation department also is responsible for trash clean-up on state highways, Humphrey said, yet the trash remains while signs disappear.
"They walked right across trash in the ditch to pick up the signs," he said during the meeting.
He's already contacted the transportation cabinet to express his frustrations, Humphrey said, because other campaign signs remain in the state's rights of way in the District 6.
Enforcement of the sign prohibition can be difficult because right-of-way boundaries vary by highway and location, the KYTC release said.
"Employees who are removing signs are acting in the best interest of all motorists and of maintenance crews," state highway engineer Steve Waddle said in the release. "We appreciate the public's cooperation and understanding."
In general, all signage should be behind sidewalks. In areas without sidewalks, all signs should be behind the ditch line and outside areas that are commonly mowed or maintained by highway crews. Utility poles often mark the edge of highway rights of way.
On four-lane highways with controlled or limited access, no signs should be placed on the highway side of the fence.
Tomlinson asked candidates to be aware of the issue and mindful of where they place signs. He also asked that each candidate pick up their signs - and remove all wires and stakes holding signs - in a timely fashion after the election for the safety of mowing crews.
Any signs that have been picked up by state transportation cabinet crews may be picked up at the KYTC District 6 state maintenance barn at 102 Old Lock Rd. in Carrollton behind the National Guard Armory, Tomlinson said. Signs will be held at the location for three days.