Illegally placed signs are being removed from the right-of-way of state highways in Pulaski and the other nine counties in District 8, including Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Lincoln, McCreary, Rockcastle, Russell and Wayne.

Stephanie Daffron, public information officer for the Kentucky Department of Transportation’s District 8, said signs being removed include political signs as well as other business and promotional signs that encroach on the right-of-way of state highways. They are being removed for legal and safety reasons. She said thousands of signs have been removed during the last few days.

In a letter to all Kentucky election candidates from Commissioner of Highways Marc D. Williams, candidates were reminded that according to KRS177.830-177.890 and KYTC regulation, no advertising devise (campaign sign, etc.) shall be erected within or over the state-owned highway right-of-way except a directional or other official sign erected by or on behalf of the state or public agency having jurisdiction. This also includes signs or stickers attached to structures already installed on state right-of-way.

“Because such signs can distract drivers, obstruct sight distance, reduce the recovery zone for drivers who run off the road, negatively impact roadside aesthetics and interfere with mowing and litter removal, they are expressly prohibited on state right-of-way and will be removed,” said Williams.

Daffron said Highway Department crews have been picking signs up daily.

“The safety of the traveling public is our main concern,” said Daffron. “There are valid safety reasons for not placing signs on state right-of-way, and we are committed to keeping our highways as safe as possible. This is why we will remove these illegally placed signs.”

Candidates and others whose signs are removed from the right-of-way may reclaim the signs at the state Highway Department garages in their district. The signs will be kept for two weeks from the date of which they are removed before being disposed of to give the sign owner the opportunity to claim them,” Daffron said.

“We understand that some of these signs are expensive,” said Daffron. “Ideally, the owners of the signs can remove them before our crews do.”

As far as making sure the signs are not on the state right-of-way, Russell Jones, maintenance branch manager of District 8, said it varies from road to road, but on many major roads there are concrete markers and usually if it is behind a utility pole it would be behind the right-of-way.

As for county and city maintained roads, the city has an ordinance pertaining to signs and where they can be placed, while the county doesn’t.

In the city ordinance 05-16 it states that temporary on-premises signs shall not be located within five feet of dedicated rights-of-way nor within 50 feet of all intersection streets right-of-way and meet all other setback requirements of the zone in which the sign is located.

City Clerk David Godsey said if signs become a problem or a hazard they will pick the signs up and call the person to let them know. He also reiterated that people need to make sure signs aren’t blocking views and becoming a traffic hazard.

While the county doesn’t have an ordinance about signs in the county right-of-way, Pulaski County Judge-executive Darrell BeShears said that county road crews will have to take them down if signs are on a county right-of-way when they start mowing. He said they must do this because of the safety issues the signs would cause while mowing.

“The road crews will pick them up and take them to the county garage and people can come and get them,” said BeShears.

Both the county and state road crews will most likely begin mowing around mid-April.

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