Oregon, politics, Transportation

ODOT: Keep political signs out of right of way

A Trump campaign flag hangs above Highway 26 between Buxton and the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel on a Port of Tillamook Bay trestle on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Photo: Chas Hundley

The Oregon Department of Transportation is asking people to stop putting election-related signs in state owned right of ways. 

According to ODOT, signs are not permitted in their right of ways – including on utility poles, trees, fence posts, in natural areas alongside highways, and more. A full accounting of what is and is not allowed when it comes to signage along or visible from a state highway, visit https://www.oregon.gov/odot/ROW/Pages/Sign-Resources.aspx.

Signs on private property that can be seen from a state highway — such as Highway 6, 26, or 47, including Main Street in Banks — must be 12 square feet or less, be posted on a temporary basis of 60 days or less, and may not be affixed to a permanent base, cannot have flashing lights, animation, or moving parts, and cannot imitate an official highway sign. They must be placed on private property, and cannot be accessed from a public right of way. 

Those on a Washington County road should consult the Washington County Community Development Code for the rules at https://bit.ly/3iXNaQ7. Those in Banks City Limits must abide by city rules, located at codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/banks/latest/overview

We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on at the Banks Post. Support us with a digital subscription: Click here to start

According to ODOT, political signs placed on state highway right of way will be removed without notice and held at the local ODOT district maintenance office for 30 days. 

Two political flags expressing support for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign were illegally hung over Highway 26 in at least two locations 

in early September; multiple eyewitness reports placed one at the overhanging sign at the junction of Highway 6 and 26 headed westbound. The other sign was located on the old railroad trestle/Salmonberry Trail right of way between Buxton and the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel. 

The trestle there is owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay; in an email to the Banks Post on Thursday, September 3, the Port’s General Manager, Michele Bradley, said the sign was not theirs and that someone would be dispatched to remove it. 

“The POTB does not allow political campaign signs on our right of way. All signs we find in our right of way are removed as we discover them or are notified about them. Non-political signs (businesses, etc.) are allowed with approval and by easement with the POTB,” Bradley said, adding that to have hung the sign would require trespassing on the railroad right of way, a federal offense, according to Bradley.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for Banks area news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!