Cleaning Up Tulsa's Sign Clutter

Tuesday, October 10th 2006, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

He has a plan to "de"-sign Tulsa. Mark Patton is the head of Keep Tulsa Beautiful, a non-profit group that works to clean-up litter and other unsightly messes. And he thinks signs that are illegally placed on streets are one of those.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says lots of people talk about the sign clutter, but nobody really does anything about it.

Mark Patton wants to do something about it. Patton calls these "litter on a stick". "Air duct cleaning, roofing, tanning, all those kinds of things we think are problems. So, they're just ugly, and they don't belong in our right-of-way."

Patton has been meeting with city officials. He wants clarification on some city ordinances and some beefing-up of others. For example, he says the person who "bought" the sign needs to be held accountable in addition to the hired help. "The current ordinance really says the guy putting the sign in the right-of-way is the guilty party, and we want to make sure we have all parties concerned."

He also says it's not clear if signs like these are considered litter or property. He says they can be removed in either case. But it would affect whether they can be just thrown away or whether they must be kept somewhere for the owner to come pick them up.

Mainly, Patton wants to raise awareness, with volunteers to get their help in clearing out these signs. And maybe even with the sign manufacturers, to keep the signs from being put here in the first place. "We don't think people know what the sign ordinances actually are. We don't think people know where the right-of-ways are. So part of our effort is an awareness campaign to help with sign companies so they can tell their customers legal ways to advertise."