Forbidden Signs of the Times Part II - The Central Business District

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• In Bellingham,

In my first article (Forbidden Signs of the Times) on the proliferation of unpermitted sandwich board signs on sidewalks in Fairhaven, I promised to do a review of the same phenomenon in the Central Business District (CBD). Whereas the sandwich board signs in Fairhaven are apparently placed to direct the public to establishments that are at some distance or hidden in alleys, the CBD signs are generally found on the sidewalk directly in front of the respective store or restaurant. Given the greater geographical size of the CBD, the sandwich boards tend to be spread out rather than bunched up as in Fairhaven but they nonetheless block the sidewalks .

Also blocking some sidewalks in the CBD are huddles of trash cans and newspaper dispensers which seem to possess some electro-magnetic properties, forcing them together. The worst case of these huddles is along Railroad Avenue between Holly St. and Magnolia St. where you also fight to get by not only sandwich boards, newspaper dispensers and trash cans but also cafe tables, Hummer-like strollers, chained bicycles and the occasional whining and barking dog tied to a tree or parking meter. I forgot to mention the occasional panhandler, however, those” impediments” are subject to an ordinance that appears to be enforced.

I have included above a number of photos of these sandwich boards and huddled objects. Click through at your leisure. However, it is time the city takes notice and cleans up the sidewalks in Fairhaven and the CBD. They are called sideWALKS for a reason.

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Apr 03, 2018

On the subject of pedestrian safety, I might agree sandwich boards can impede walking, though they don’t usually bother me.  However, with an elevation similar to pedestrians’ feet and legs, drivers can see both peds and signs at once so sandwich boards might create a safer walking environment than the overhead signs drivers must crane their heads away from pedestrians to see.

I do agree that people ought to have at least as many sitting rights as signs.