Pierce County illegal sign enforcement begins

Pierce County road crews are set to begin removing illegally-placed signs in the right of way following the recent agreement involving Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, the County Council, and Public Works and Utilities.

Illegal sign removal will begin county-wide today. The initial roundup is expected to take up to three weeks to complete.

After that, the worst intersections will be revisited monthly, and high volume arterial roads will be swept quarterly. As illegal sign volumes drop at any given location, the next worst spots will be targeted.

The goals of the program are to achieve compliance with sign laws and maintain safe conditions for motorists and pedestrians. The unsightly clutter caused by illegal signs in the right of way will also be addressed.

All collected signs will be recycled, unlike last year when owners were given the opportunity to reclaim their signs.

“These private signs in the public’s right of way are illegal and will be treated as roadside litter,” said Brian Ziegler, director of Public Works and Utilities. “As it is, this litter cleanup will cost taxpayers about $95,000 per year.”

Repeat offenders will receive written warnings and may be subject to citations and fines. Frequently asked questions and instructions for reporting an illegal sign are available at http://www.piercecountywa.org/signs .

Hazardous signs that require immediate attention should be reported directly to the Road Operations 24-hour response line at (253) 798-6000. Other illegal signs in the right of way can be reported on the Web site or by calling the Sign Line hotline at (253) 798-8888.