Omaha (KPTM)- Ever notice all of those pesky signs, advertising everything from dating sites, to garage sales…even real estate? You may see fewer of them on the street—and more in the trash. The Omaha Coalition of Citizen Patrols has been on a hunt to pick up signs.
"What we're doing is picking up signs that are illegally placed in the city right of way. Which means that it's on the city side of the sidewalk or within 10 feet of the curb," said Nancy Bailey, OCCP member, after her first Sunday pickup.
With the Omaha police department's approval, the OCCP turned a project originally meant for selected neighborhoods, into a weekly citywide pickup.
"This year I decided, ‘let's try it city wide. …it kind of cleans up the area," said Liz Davenport, president of OCCP.
Volunteers are now canvassing the city every Sunday, removing signs or tagging them with stickers that tell the owner where to put them.
They say they do this not only because it's the law, but to protect drivers.
"Garage sales are especially distracting because if you're looking for a garage sale you're trying to read the sign as to where the garage sale is."
Repeated offense of advertisers replacing signs in the same illegal spot can lead to a $500 fine.
But not everyone in the city agrees with the Sunday pickup.
"I'm wondering what our city council is doing, allowing volunteer citizens to go and enforce city code…I don't think it's right and I want to just do my neighbor a favor," said Nicholas Molczyk, upset his elderly neighbors real estate sign was taken.
OCCP's advice to those who want to avoid their signs from being snatched…
"Try your neighborhood president or even call the police department…and say ‘hey we're having a big neighborhood garage sale, where shouldn't we put signs?'," said Davenport.
"We're trying to keep people safe, we're trying to keep the city clean. We want to put out a good image for Omaha besides the safety factors as well," said Bailey.
Signs are taken to the City of Omaha's Public Works facilities at the end of the Sunday pick up.
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