Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A-boards and Coffee Cups

Alex and I were talking about my last post (the one about banning ads in the city) and we decided that it's probably not really worth it in Seattle. Excessive advertising is just not much of a problem, at least not the billboard variety. But, it did get us thinking and we quickly realized that one problem that does seem to pop up over and over again is litter. In a city of take away coffee cups, free weekly news papers, and cigarette butts that can longer be consumed indoors, the streets are covered with litter. It gets especially bad along the Pike-Pine corridors, but most of the city could do with a little sprucing up.

Of course, doing this on a consistent and thorough basis would require paid workers and that would cost money. Which is the hard part. Anyway, we were out walking on our way down to Gay Bingo and noticed the unending rows of A-boards on every street corner professing the uber-chic qualities of their respective condo or apartment project. This got us thinking. Perhaps we could solve two nuisances at once. What if we charged these developers for the rights to litter our streets with their signs and used the proceeds for city beautification.

Maybe the meeter maids while out trolling the streets for illegally parked cars could also check for unregistered signs. If we charged say $20 per sign per month on display this could quickly bring in some serious revenue. I'd guess that there are at least 1000 A-boards in Downtown, South Lake Union, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. If this was the case that would bring in a monthly revenue of $20,000. More than enough to pay for a few workers and supplies to help clean up the streets.

Anyway, what do you think?


Adam M Botsford said...

Would you propose holding politicians or political groups accountable for removing their public postings or the debris that is derived from their often excessive signage?

Time Traveler said...

I must agree, they are using public property for personal gain and should be charged a fee. I think this is a grand idea. As for Adam's comment it is already a requirement that the signage be removed with a certain time after election and candidates are fined for noncomliance, but to have to register each sign would certainly curb the over use of this annoyance. I am going to make the same suggestion to the Kirkland authorities as we are seeing more of the same A-boards. Thanks for the suggestion

djfuel said...

Some cities have ordiances that require building owners and street level tenants to take responsibility for keeping the sidewalks/setbacks directly in front of their estabishments (up to the curb) clean.

As for the advertisements for condos/apts... A one year general use permit (fee) to allow the use of A-boards would be more practical than charging monthly per sign. Such a "sidewalk advertising" permit could be issued with the building permit for an extra fee.