Remember rules for campaign yard signs

October 7, 2018

It’s election time again, which means campaign signs abound along state, county and city roadways.

But the Indiana Department of Transportation is reminding residents those signs must remain out of the right of way, or they will be removed. Signs should not be placed in intersections, interstate interchanges or rights-of-way that run parallel to highways.

“INDOT personnel will remove campaign signs and other illegal signs from the right-of-way : pursuant to code : as they are encountered in normal highway maintenance activities,” a news release said last week. “Crews may also remove a specific sign if it presents an immediate safety risk, such as being too close to the roadway or creating a sight obstruction. Campaign signs placed off the right-of-way will not be removed.” 

Campaign signs aren’t just prohibited in state rights of way. The city of Fort Wayne also does not allow signage in the public right-of-way, which typically extends 11 feet off the edge of the street and often includes the grass strip between the pavement and the sidewalk. 

City crews pick up an average of 250 improperly-placed signs every year, Public Works spokesman Frank Suarez said. That number sometimes increases during big election years, Suarez added.

Anyone who needs to pick up a sign removed by the state transportation department can do so at the nearest INDOT facility between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Fort Wayne city code allows for the immediate destruction of signs found to violate the city ordinance regarding placement.  

Main Street news

Drivers frustrated with the lengthy Main Street closure in downtown Fort Wayne may not have to suffer much longer, weather permitting.

Main Street, which has been closed since July to accommodate the state’s repaving crews, is now open from Clinton Street to Calhoun Street. However, it’s still closed from Clay Street to Clinton Street. Work began Sept. 17 and will be compete Oct. 19. 

Lane restrictions are still in effect on Clinton and Lafayette streets. 

Reader Questions

Q: What’s the latest on the Maplecrest Road project (building four lanes between State and Stellhorn)? We’ve seen a lot of tree removal along the right of way recently. Will road construction begin soon? : Jay F.

A: Improvements along State Boulevard to about 200 feet south of Trier Road will be put out for bids next year, Public Works spokesman Frank Suarez said. Trier Road to Stellhorn Road will be bid in 2020, but some of the work clearing the area is going on this year.

Additionally, drivers noticing work crews on Maplecrest near Trier Road last week saw NIPSCO performing gas line maintenance, Suarez said.

Q: I would like to hear from Fort Wayne traffic engineers in regard to improvements planned for the area bounded by Illinois Road, West Jefferson Boulevard and Getz Road.

The area accounts for numerous accidents on a daily basis and the problem existed before the Bass Road detour. : Robert S. 

A: There have been a number of improvements to the area in the past 13 years, including new traffic signals at the intersection of Reckeweg and Illinois roads and the removal of the intersection of North Bend Drive and Illinois Road, Public Works Director Shan Gunawardena said.

However, there are no plans for new traffic signals near Getz and Illinois roads. Gunawardena said a new signal at Constitution Drive is timed with one at Getz and Illinois. 

“As development occurs on Getz Road, sidewalk will be provided on both sides. Currently sidewalk exists from the Time Corners entrance all the way to Illinois on the east side and from the south Meijer Drive up to Illinois and across from the fire station up to Constitution Drive on the west side,” Gunawardena said. “A pedestrian crossing is provided at the new signal at Constitution and Getz and when the trail on Illinois is completed, pedestrian crossings will be provided at Illinois as well.”

Road Sage is a monthly column. Dave Gong, The Journal Gazette’s local government reporter, provides updates on public works projects in the Fort Wayne area and answers selected questions from readers. Submit a question by emailing roadsage@jg.net or tweeting @JGRoadSage.

Update hourly