Wichita Studying Sign Blight Problem

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Many campaign signs from last week's primary election continue to litter Wichita yards. The city says it's always a problem and not just around election time. Officials say they constantly hear complaints from the public about all kinds of signs that are placed in prohibited areas. Now, the city is considering making some changes.

Wichita Interim Superintendent of Central Inspection Donte Martin says over the past few months the city has been studying how other communities deal with what's known as "sign blight." The city wants to come up with some ways to address the growing number of these type signs.

City ordinances prohibit signs being placed on public right of way between sidewalks and the street, medians or utility poles. Martin says people can be prosecuted but it's challenging to prove who placed the signs.

Many residents agree that people placing signs need to follow the rules. Others say they like the signs or just don't care.

"They definitely should not be put on public right of way. They should be put on private property if someone allows them to do so," said Wichita resident Jim Grier.

"I think they're great. I think it's like Christmas trees, Easter and Halloween. They signify that there's an election coming up and let the public know we're going to be voting soon," said Wichita resident Jerry Winkelman.

"I think after awhile you don't see them anymore. I do pay attention. I'm a garage sale fanatic and so occasionally I see those and I'm drawn to them. But after awhile, the election ones, I didn't see them anymore," said Wichita resident Sarah Lindsted.

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