Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Vest of Times: Tearer Alert Update

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 6:06 AM

Yesterday I talked to Gwen Hopkins, public information officer for Metro's public works department, about what's up with those yellow-vested people tearing down show flyers. "So," I asked, "are these Metro employees or roving gangs of anti-flyer toughs?" (I might have phrased that a little differently.) Her response: It could be either.

She said that volunteer groups occasionally take it upon themselves to tear flyers down, and that city employees could do the tearing for one of two reasons. First, the Metro Beautification and Environment Office receives a complaint about a specific location, and right-of-way crews are dispatched to clean it up. Second, while working on a job, those crews discover other illegal flyering and remove it, if they have time.

"Is there anywhere that it's OK to post flyers?" I asked. Hopkins indirectly answered my question by saying that you're not allowed to post anything on any "public right-of-way," which best I could figure means just about anywhere. As she said to me, it's a form of littering, and the law is pretty clear:

10.24.020 Posting notices prohibited when.

No person shall post or affix any notice, poster or other paper or device, calculated to attract the attention of the public to any public lamppost, public utility pole or public shade tree, or upon any public structure or building, except as may be authorized or required by law.

Now, one way to read this is that you can't post anything that's supposed to draw people's attention to public lampposts, but I don't think that interpretation would hold up in the court of law. What this means, of course, is that posting show flyers makes you a total rebel.

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