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Spring Signs Warning

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) With Spring temperatures on their way up, its about that time for bar-be-ques and garage sales. But be careful with where you place those signs to let everyone know

When you drive through the city, you wouldnt expect to see signs in the middle of the street, and city ordinances say you shouldnt be able to see them too close to the roadway either.

"The public right of way really is the key point with placing signs, said Cedar Rapids Public Safety Spokesperson Greg Buelow. You don't want to place any signs within that area. The public right of way is the distance between the street and the sidewalk."

They also arent allowed ten feet from the street if there is no sidewalk. The point is to keep the area along the road free of anything that might pull a drivers attention from the signs they need to see.

"They're very distracting and especially ones on the corner, they can obstruct the vision of a motorist, said Buelow.

Those signs can also disrupt utility lines buried underneath those public right of ways in different parts of the city.

If you have something to say, the city says to keep it on your private property and on a sign that's smaller than three feet tall and two feet wide.

Donald Hoskins of Allen, Vernon and Hoskins, P.L.C. says some people complain that they arent being allowed to exercise free speech on public land by not being able to place their signs in the public right of way.

He says theyre simply wrong.

"You just don't have the right to do it, said Hoskins. It actually is a form of trespass and would be covered by the state trespass statute."

Buelow says most times, the police will just pull the signs that they see in the wrong places.

Regulations on political signs are similar. They also must be in private land, but cannot be up for more than 75 days at a time. They also can be no larger than 24 square feet and five feet tall.
 
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