In a well kept urban setting is there anything more unsightly than “street spam” or “bandit signs”? The bright, gaudy, coroplast signs that adorn utility poles and mushroom out of the ground like weeds in the summer. Most zoning restrictions prohibit such signs and political ads in the public right of way, (medians and streets), but street spammers know that it’s rarely enforced. I haven’t noticed many of these eyesores around Congress Park lately, as they tend to be clustered along busy commercial corridors. However many quiet residential neighborhoods are plastered with “We’ll Buy Your House” and “Work From Home” signs stuck up on telephone poles. Regardless of how economically fortunate or modest a street or community is, this definitely spells tacky.
Above photo from Streetspam.org
The new Arboretum Condos at Cheesman Park in Denver decided the best way to advertise their apartments turned condos is to litter the street corners of our neighborhood with a multitude of coroplast signs stuck on wooden stakes. Even worse, these aren’t even stuck in the ground, just the snow. Therefore when the snow melts you’re left with a filthy white sign laying in the gutter. How is that any worse than chucking a bag of McDonald’s trash on the corner? Companies like this have no interest in collecting these signs after a weekend or promotion, they simply leave them there to rot.
I don’t have a problem with real estate folks putting up open house signs for the day, or a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. But street spam is not “day” signs. They remain on the street corners until blown away, removed by the city, or taken down by others. The Arboretum Condos has been marring our beautiful Denver community for several weekends now. (A real estate aside: If you visit their website you’ll see stunning wood floors and granite countertops, but that doesn’t mask the thin walls and shoddy internal construction of a 1960s apartment low-rise).
Surprisingly someone had beat me to my plans of removing them last weekend, but today they all sprouted up again, giving my something productive to do during my walk this windy day, and keeping street corners free from such visual eyesores. Some would say I’m a busybody and have nothing better to do, but I’m proud of the fact I do little things to help clean up my community, and applaud those that do the same. (Like the stranger who removed last week’s batch).
Point? Just because a sign is there doesn’t mean you can’t cut it up and throw it away. You and your neighbors have every right to control the visual aspects of your community. I wish more people would take control of their small corners of the world. Check out the site Causs.org Although not heavily trafficked, it contains musings of fellow “sharks”, and has laws and ordinances in various states and cities regarding marketing as litter. Streetspam.org is based out of Atlanta, and has lots of practical and logical information on why this is a nuisance and how to remove it.
Oh, and the same concept applies to the ridiculous Cartoon Network circuit boards everybody spazzed out over last week. Nowhere did I read the obvious concept that this is just simply LITTER! If a cop saw me toss an old walkman and batteries out of my car window, I’d get a fine. Just because something exists in the name of guerilla marketing doesn’t elevate it’s status to anything more than what it is: Garbage. Meanwhile Arboretum Condos needs to start being a good neighbor and knock it off.