City Desk

NIMBY Gripe Of the Week: Summer Camp Signs Go Away!

This is so nitpicky, it was made for City Desk. This was NIMBY complaint was found on the Shepherd Park listserv. We love Ralph Blessing as much as the next reporter, but jeez does he have to write Councilmember Bowser to complain about summer camp signs? And does have to hate on old globe posters?

Dear Councilmember Bowser:

Is there anything that your office can do to rid our roadways of those ubiquitous signs for summer camps, in particular those for the martial arts camp located in Silver Spring just a stone’s throw from the DC line? Over the weekend I spotted dozens of their signs (plus a few touting other camps, some event in Puerto Rico, etc.), in particular along Georgia Ave. and North Capitol St. The latter was the worst, starting in the area around Kennedy St. and continuing all the way down to Michigan Ave. The median strip near the Old Soldiers’ Home was covered with them nonstop. I saw them on both sides of the park, even out on Rockville Pike! Most are stuck in the ground, but many are looped around utility poles, and some are even nailed to our street trees.

I know that Marc Loud, in his capacity as head of the Gateway Corporation, has informed the owner of the Silver Spring camp that posting signs on DC public property is illegal and has repeatedly pleaded with him to stop littering our roadways with the signs, but year after year the problem returns. Is there anything you can do in conjunction with your Montgomery County counterparts to rein in this behavior? For instance, could the county threaten to withhold operating permits if the problem continues?  Or how about the novel ideal of the DC govt actually enforcing its laws and levying a fine for each violation?

Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, many of us spent a lot of time ridding our trees and utility poles of those day-glo concert posters, only to see them replaced now with signs for other commercial enterprises, in clear violation of DC law. Sure, we can call 727-1000 whenever we see them, or even yank them down ourselves, but that doesn’t address the overall problem. Anything you can do to in that regard would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Ralph Blessing

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  • Jim


  • SG

    NIMBYS are out of control in this town. Quite honestly, they'd probably protest the tooth fairy!

  • TG

    Those things are tacky no matter whose 'BY' they are in. Enforce the law, get rid of them!

  • IMGoph

    i tore a few off trees on rhode island avenue on the way home tonight. you don't nail or staple onto trees, period.

  • Jason Cherkis

    IMGoph: I agree, anyone who nails or staples posters onto trees should get their stuff torn down.

  • Deanwoodenizen

    I second TG. Those signs bring down a community's morale and quality of life ergo the broken windows theory. There has got to be enforcement by the city. If I had a dollar for every "$100 we haul and buy junk cars," my gosh I would be able to have a junk cars business. Just as the Mayor is tag teaming with DCRA to crack down on car lots he needs to tag team and ride roughshod over the DPW Director Bill Hoagland about these signs!