Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So that's what trees are for!

I don't think I'm spilling any state secrets when I tell you that Wild Bill's is sponsoring a concert this Saturday. These posters first appeared on downtown trees in early September. After a phone call to those in charge of enforcing the city's ordinance about not putting posters on street trees, the posters came down. Now they are back up.

So what's so bad about posters on trees -- or on streetlights and signal boxes for that matter? Well, it's mostly a problem of "what if everyone did that?" and of who has the right to use the public sidewalk and streetscape for private advertising. On Main Street, the Downtown Business District put up kiosks every block or so. Anyone is welcome to put up posters about their events -- whether they are a for-profit business (like Wild Bill's) or a non-profit community event. The Downtown Guides take care of the kiosks, removing outdated notices and clutter. But even though the Kiosks are available, every few months some bar from Hartford comes down to Main Street and covers every streetlight and tree with a notice about their drink specials.

Now I'm not looking for totalitarian efficiency here. I kind of like seeing everyone's tag sale and lost cat notices. One of my favorite Middletown moments every Spring is peering out through the rain at the Coleman's Carnival posters dripping on telephone poles throughout town.

But the current crop of Wild Bill's posters is a little much. There are even some trees that have two posters, just so you can see their advertisement coming and going.

So what's to be done? I'm not sure, but I hope that Wild Bill's applies the same gusto in removing the posters come Sunday morning.


Anonymous said...

I agree, more often than not these posters are an eyesore. Lost cats and 'once in a blue moon' tag sales are one thing, but a business is something else altogether. Maybe the city should collect a list of the adverts and send a bill to the various establishments responsible for them, charging them for the rent of public property.

And while we're at it, what about putting up some cameras at intersections to catch the inevitable red light runners?

Now that we're facing a serious economic downturn, we need to be creative about ways to build up the treasury.

Anonymous said...

Too bad both Kiosks that were in the North End on Main Street (One in front of First Wok and one near O'Rourke's Diner) have gone missing in the past year or so. Wonder who decided that was a good idea to take them down.

Anonymous said...

I was also surprised to see these posters spring up yesterday on the trees. I'm not against posters announcing events, tag sales, lost pets etc. but they should not be posted on trees.

The bigger issue is that those that put the signs up usually don't take them down when the event is over or the pet is found. A good example of this is Colemans Carnival - the posters were up well into the summer.

Please don't use the trees and remove your signs when the event is over.

Anonymous said...

this past weekend, while out pumpkin buying, i noticed one of these Wild Bill's posters in Durham, on Rt 148 near Rt 79. it, too, was stapled to a tree. i thought, these ugly signs are everywhere!

about the basic point of the article: i agree that the City should enforce the rules about no signs outside of the kiosks.

Jane Harris said...

Sorry to come so late to the posters-on-trees link. For one thing, there is an ordinance against posting anything on a City tree. Trees are living organisms, not signposts. 2)Pounding nails in through bark and cambium gives diseases and insects an easy route into the trees. 3) Multiple wounds stress the trees, which are already stressed just by being street trees! 4) Years from now, some poor tree-cutter is going to wreck his chain saw and/or get hurt when he tries to cut down one of these trees (dead from abuse) and runs into all those abandoned nails.