Sep 24, 2005

Commercial Excess - A Sign Of The Times?


This Valvoline Instant Oil Change establishment seems to be aiming for a new record in flouting city sign laws, with seven illegal exterior banners and roadside signs.

Now, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for retail business owners, especially in an economically-challenged city like Toledo. With depressed incomes, population losses, and high unemployment, it can't be easy to make a buck in this city.

In addition, I personally slogged it out as a business owner in Toledo for a decade. In various incarnations I was a restauranteur, carryout owner, and co-owner of a resale shop.

I, too, gave in to commercial temptation and planted the occasional roadside sign touting a special. Signs are inexpensive, traffic-building, and very visible, and I found that the occasional citation was a small price to pay for an extra sign.

But seven promotional signs and banners at this Secor Road location? Even the most die-hard, laissez faire-loving free market afficianados can recognize the need for a municipality to place some restrictions on commercial clutter.

The manager of the Valvoline shop suggested that I contact the corporate office, so I will wait until Monday to get an official response. He did agree, however, that seven signs seemed "kind of extreme."

Now, if we could just get the political candidates to self-monitor their signage...


Anonymous said...

they should be ale to do what they want

Anonymous said...

they should be ale to do what they want

Anonymous said...

they should be ale to do what they want

Anonymous said...

they should be ale to do what they want

historymike said...


Why don't you tell us what you really think, anonymous?


Lisa Renee said...

Some of these signs the way they are placed block the view of oncoming traffic. So they are also at times a safety hazzard as well.

liberal_dem said...

Last Thursday I saw a City of Toledo worker snapping photos of illegal business signs on Reynolds and Hill. Maybe the Blade should publish a phone number of the city office which regulates such signs.

Regarding the comment by Mr. Anony Mous ["they should be ale to do what they want"] I suspect that he is in the beer and ale retail business and dislikes your nosiness.

Hooda Thunkit said...

And the corporate headquarters ordered the signs immediately taken down, right?

Of course NOT! They probably said something like, "You are the first to complain," or something equally lame.

Only a swift and punitive response will get their attention and we know that the local governments aren't very good at neither swift nor punitive these days…

Anonymous said...

GuestZero here.

1. Read the law governing the signs.
2. Determine which signs violate the law.
3. Go there at 2am and take those certain signs.
4. Dropoff those signs within a day or two at the appropriate city department. Don't give 'em a chance to detain you; just drop them off at the security desk and immediately leave.
5. Write letter to sign offender explaining what you did and why, and further explaining that you'll do it again if necessary.

Problem solved. If we can't get the law enforced by officials, we'll have to do it ourselves.

Of course, I'd be disinclined to do this since the signs pictured aren't causing any problems. If they were blocking traffic vision, I'd do something about it -- at 2am, of course, since there's no reason to invite trouble.