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Road signs are supposed to be regulated

Traveling around Oregon, I see lots of advertising signs promising things like faster internet, and real estate brokers asking people to list with them. I would like to know if it’s legal to just stick signs willy-nilly or do you need permission from landowners or the city?

— Barbara G.

If you’ve ever been to a big city such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, the sign problem is monumental compared to what you see in Oregon. Still our state has its share of roadside signs.

Most of the road signs you see are on land leased from a private property owner. Sign companies work out a deal with the property owner, who receives a payment for allowing the sign to be erected.

A permit is generally required to place a sign on private property.

The Oregon Department of Transportation doesn’t allow signs on its properties, though smaller signs to guide motorists to city centers and local attractions are erected by ODOT.

Oregon laws regulate the placement of signs to protect the state’s scenic corridors and to improve driver safety by reducing the visual distractions that signs can cause.

Signs that are visible from state highways are subject to regulation, including those located on private property.

There are also LED-signs that have moving graphics, but those also have to meet local regulations.

As you can see, Barbara, roadside signs are not placed willy-nilly, though we might prefer they didn’t exist at all.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.