Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boca's signs of the recession set to disappear - Sun Sentinel

Boca Raton is about to start enforcing ban on A-frame signs - those are the ones that businesses put on sidewalks to lure customers to their stores. Apparently, this was done by official action a few years ago in reaction to the effects of the Great Recession. Now, those in charge in Boca are tired of the unsightliness created by all the sign clutter. Click title for link to article.
Since new residential developments are going in, there are going to be extra people around, and officials don't want them competing for sidewalk space with the sandwich signs in the varied ways they have shown up.
"Now you have a situation where things are very busy — the sidewalks are becoming cluttered with stuff," Gromann said, noting that businesses outside downtown have begun using similar sidewalk signs.
At Souvlaki Fast in Mizner Plaza, the sandwich board promises, "the best gyro you've tasted," next to signs for a $16 pedicure and walk-in medical service. Gino Can, manager at the gyro joint, said he's heard his customers agreeing with the sign as they walk out.
As far as Lake Worth is concerned, we have a provision in our sign code that outlaws these sorts of signs. I remember during the time after the 9/11 event in 2001, that the Lake Worth City Commission actually made a formal allowance for a set period of time that businesses could use these signs in front of their business. There was a widespread feeling that this temporary action would help attract customers at a time when the economy was hurting. Now it is pretty much a "free for all" without any formal repeal of the sign prohibition that I am aware of. The city of Lake Worth itself is one of the worst offenders of this prohibition. It seems that every special event is accompanied by A-frame signs being placed in strategic locations. Going downtown, it rare to see a business that doesn't have one of these signs in front of their door. I think the only allowance for these is a menu board for restaurants. If we aren't going to enforce what is on the books, then we need to change the regulations.

It is also worth pointing out, especially in the downtown area, that we already have a situation where pedestrian passage is limited due to sidewalk cafes and the like. Those are going to have to apply and meet new standards to remain from here on out. It should be time to enforce the ban on A-frame signs as well.