Regarding the Oct. 25 letter “Election road signs contribute nothing to Maine,” Maine statute gives the state Department of Transportation authority over roadside advertising and defines officially licensed state signposts and interstate “guide signs” to businesses. The statute allows temporary political signs (and apparently others, including commercial advertising) without permit, but requires they include a contact name, address and posting date. It limits posting to six weeks at a time, restarting the timer on July 1 each year, and disallows placing them in several places including utility poles.

Fortunately, the political groups do a great job removing their signs after the elections, usually within days when their six-week clock runs out, and weekend yard sale signs are usually removed quickly. According to the law, illegal signs require immediate removal by the DOT or municipality. A subsection of the relevant code disallows others to remove permitted legal signs, but doesn’t seem to prevent individuals removing non-compliant signs.

In 2023, illegal business signs, lacking contact info or dates, have exploded along our roads. I’ve seen men casually placing them at busy intersections, even screwing them high on utility poles, often beside municipal offices with no repercussions. They’re a distraction, and eventually signs and their wire stands become dangerous roadside trash. I urge the DOT and municipalities to strictly enforce removals to keep Maine scenic. And, individuals should not be shy about removing ones that are clearly illegal litter.

David Brown

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