KYTC Plans to Remove Illegal Signs in Right of Way

Sep 24, 2012

Campaign and other temporary advertising signage illegally placed on state highway rights of way will be removed to maintain safety.  According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials, signs show up along state highways in greater numbers in the month prior to an election.

“Political signs and other advertising signs can limit sight-distance, especially near intersections, blocking the view of drivers attempting to spot oncoming traffic.  The signs also create a safety hazard for highway mowing crews,” said Jim LeFevre, chief district engineer for KYTC District 1, based in Paducah.

Wire supports from political signs are especially hazardous when they are hit by mowers and become airborne.  Removal also costs Kentucky taxpayers when highway personnel spend time picking up signs ahead of mowing crews.

Kentucky law and Transportation Cabinet policy prohibit the placement of political or other advertising signs on state rights of way, including signs attached to utility poles or fences within the area.  Homeowners who maintain their lawn to the pavement edge should also keep yard signs behind the right of way line.

Enforcement of the sign prohibition can be difficult because right of way boundaries can vary by highway and location.  All signage should be behind sidewalks.  In areas without sidewalks, all signs should be behind the ditch line and outside areas commonly mowed or maintained by highway crews.  Often, utility poles will mark the edge of highway rights of way.  On four-lane highways with controlled access or limited access, no signs should be placed on the highway side of the fence line or the fence.

Illegally placed signs picked up by highway crews will be moved to the state highway garage in each county and kept for five working days.  Owners may claim them by showing identification and completing a claim form. Unclaimed signs will be discarded.

“Employees who are removing signs are acting in the best interest of all motorists and of maintenance crews,” State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle said. “We appreciate the public’s cooperation and understanding.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 is responsible for 2,800 miles of roadway in Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, Fulton, Graves, McCracken, Livingston, Marshall, Calloway, Trigg, Lyon and Crittenden counties.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 is responsible for 3300 miles of roadway in Hancock, Ohio, Muhlenberg, McLean, Daviess, Henderson, Union. Webster, Hopkins, Caldwell, and Christian counties.