City Cracks Down on Feather Signs

By: Rachel Witter

The city is starting to crack down on what it calls some “distractions” to drivers and it doesn't have to do with a cell phone.

Those tall banners you see flapping in the wind on “O” Street, even the people standing on street corners directing you to their business: they're illegal.

One local business says this ban might hurt their profits.

Martin Wells is the Saucy Cook.  He likes to get out on the sidewalk and advertise his business, but the city said technically, that's illegal.

Wells said, “Basically my take on it is drivers are supposed to keep their eyes on the road. They're not supposed to get distracted. I don't think me standing out here and doing this is a big enough distraction that the city needs to outlaw it.”

Wells could soon face a $200 per day fine for what he does.

The city says any sign that is not permanently affixed to the ground or a building is illegal.

It's a way to cut back on eyesores and driving distractions.

Wells' business on 70th and Van Dorn is tucked away in a plaza, and said his way of temporary signage is the only way some people might find out about his business.

“The whole idea with the sign was this was a way to get the attention of people who otherwise wouldn't know we were there and with this many cars its been a great way to get people to notice us,” Wells said.  “We have people come in the store and say we wouldn't have come in because we didn't know you were there but we saw you out on the corner.”

The tall banners you see out in front of some businesses called “feather signs” are also illegal.

The city will soon be charging a fine for all these temporary signs.

“We can't afford a fine so if there's a chance that somebody from the city is gonna come along and give me a ticket and charge me a fine, I'm gonna have to stop doing it and if I have to stop doing it that means fewer people are gonna know about my business and its gonna hurt business,” Wells said.

The city says it's already started to send out warnings to businesses.  They realize a lot of people don't know this is a law.  And they want to first educate people.