City offers incentive for residents who help remove bandit signs

Sick of seeing signs advertising some kind of business all over town? You're not alone. Now, the city is offering an incentive for residents who help remove them.

Arthur Meckler's knife comes out whenever he sees those annoying street signs on poles advertising everything from concerts to businesses that want to buy a house.

"It's just another form of liter. It's just another form of graffiti," he said.

The Fishtown resident says he's been on pole patrol for decades.

"It's kind of like an archeological dig. Going down through these layers and seeing posters and signs that have been up for many, many months," he said. "It can take literally take hours to clean up a really bad pole."

Some bandit signs even made it into his collection. But soon he and his Fishtown Neighbors Association will get welcomed help from city hall in the form of money for every illegal bandit sign ripped down.

"It's 50 cents a sign--up to $250. That's 500 signs that we're asking people to take down, kind of document where they took them down and then bring them to us," Nic Esposito with Zero Waste and Liter Director for City said.

Nic Esposito runs the city's Zero Waste and Liter program. He says the bandit sign round up involves 40 community non-profits that could conceivably remove 20,000 nuisance signs around the city.

"I think people feel a little disrespected that people go in. There's a law saying that they can't do this and they break it anyway to put them up," Esposito said.

"It's going to make a difference here, especially along these avenues, these corridors, Frankford Avenue, Girard Avenue, with so many restaurants and breweries," Meckler said.

It will start in June and run through the summer.