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Signs of Positive Change for Our Roadways

Supervisor Herrity discusses the lack of signs in our medians.

I would like to recognize and thank both the Democrat and Republican candidates and local political parties for refraining from illegally placing campaign signs in the right of way.  Typically at this time in the election cycle the roadways are littered with political signs both big and small. This was despite the fact that the signs were illegal to place in the right of way, can be dangerous, obstruct sight distance, distract drivers and I believe are a blight on our community. They are also are costly for the state and county to deal with in these difficult budgetary times.

In December of 2011, in a bipartisan fashion, I began an effort to end the blight of illegal road signs. With the help and support of the Board of Supervisors and Delegate Dave Albo the law dealing with political signs was changed in the last legislative session to eliminate a Fairfax County exception for removing political signs.  Fairfax County is now working with VDOT to sign an agreement that would allow both the county and VDOT to remove illegally placed signs and fine the offender. 

In the meantime it appears that all but two candidates, one Democrat, one Republican, have been abiding by the law and respecting our community – If you see signs in the medians I encourage you to call candidates and ask them to remove their signs. To the candidates that have complied, I thank you for your respect of the law and our community.  Your compliance is also saving resources at the county and state level that can be better used for more pressing matters.

I would also like to thank VDOT for their support in the effort to end the blight of illegally placed road signs.  While they do not have the resources to remove all of the signs they are playing a key role in keeping the medians clear.

Supervisor Pat Herrity

springfield@fairfaxcounty.gov

703-451-8873

www.fairfaxcounty.gov/springfield

www.facebook.com/pat.herrity

 

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John Farrell October 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM
The signs in the medians are not now and never have been illegal. No less a legal luminary than then Attorney General Bob McDonnell so ruled in a letter to Fairfax County. The First Amendment protects those signs on the public lands that are our highway medians no less than the protesters picketing on a public sidewalk. This's a bit hypocrisy from the incumbent scion of a locally famous family opposing signs that would give a challenger a chance against him. No doubt when he runs for Chairman in 2015, the Fairfax medians outside his Springfield District will be plastered with his signs to boost name recognition and his volunteer's morale. There's also a certain rooster claiming credit for the sunrise quality to this column. The absence of signs is a product of the Federal candidates' strategy that name recognition is not a challenge is this year's campaigns and that money is better spent in other efforts, such as, field organizers and advertising. As one campaign operative is fond of saying, "yard signs don't vote!" but, for the new, challenger candidate, the signs are essential to getting their name out in front of the voters, convincing volunteers and contributors that their are a legitimate candidate. The signs will appear in medians before November 6th and they will reappear in force next year when the Delegates and LG and AG candidates need to get their name out before the June primary and the November general election.
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