A blitzkrieg to remove signs is underway in all seven counties in Highway District 12 — Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Martin and Pike — the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced in a statement Oct. 20.
Any signs placed illegally on the state right-of-way will be removed – this includes signage for political candidates, garage sales, businesses, real estate or any other purpose.
Kentucky law and KYTC policy, Aid to Disclosure, prohibits the placement of any sign – for any type of advertisement – on the state right-of-way. The ban includes both freestanding signs and signs attached to permanent state highway signs, utility poles and guardrails.
The statement said the illegally posted signs pose a potential danger within sight of motorists; they interfere with mowing crews, cleaning ditches, picking up litter and other maintenance operations. “
“Putting up signs on the state right-of-way is illegal. That’s the bottom line,” said Mary Westfall-Holbrook, chief engineer for the district, Dist. 12. “Right now we have a proliferation of political signs, and they will be removed. It doesn’t matter which candidate or political party they advertise. The state right of way belongs to the taxpayers and should be a neutral zone, not a place where companies and candidates can obtain free advertising space.
Removed signs will be taken to the nearest national highway garage and kept for two weeks. Unclaimed panels will be discarded.
“We cannot guarantee that the panels will not be damaged during the removal process,” Westfall-Holbrook said.