WEST PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Safety signs along roads are critical to help prevent driving dangers. But another type of sign is causing concern in a local community. As Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains, the mayor is calling for a crackdown on illegally posted signs.
“It seems like telephone poles have become a magnet for people to advertise on.” West Pittston Mayor Tom Blaskiewicz has had enough of those signs you see on utility poles promoting fundraisers, yard sales and other events. “A lot of those signs on the pole are a distraction, are a safety concern,” he said.
Mayor Blaskiewicz and other borough officials are now cracking down. “We band together on this initiative and we make sure that they don’t stay up that long.” While his focus is beautifying West Pittston by limiting these signs on utility poles, he’d like to see the effort extend beyond borough borders. “It’s just an image that we want to make sure isn’t what this valley is about,” said Mayor Blaskiewicz.
Working hard to improve its image from the devastating flood of 2011, West Pittston has invested in a streetscape project to improve infrastructure, street lighting and sidewalks. Longtime borough resident Wayne Williams, who lives on Montgomery Avenue, sees the sign crackdown as a small but important piece of the borough beautification puzzle. “You want the town to look nice. We’re proud of our little town here.”
It’s more than just a matter of pride. PPL Electric Utilities Regional Affairs Director Alana Roberts said, “It’s illegal. Both state and often municipal ordinances exist against it.” Nailed-on signs pose a hazard risk to PPL linemen who navigate those poles. “Part of creating a safe scene is removing anything from the pole that can impact their work,” said Ms. Roberts.
While UGI Utilities doesn’t serve Mayor Blaskiewicz’s town, the company shares the concern. UGI Utilities spokesman Don Brominski said, “Utility poles are owned by the utility and private entities or people are not allowed to post anything on them.”
As far as West Pittston’s enforcement, Mayor Blaskiewicz is showing some leniency. He wants the signs and the nails used to post them removed in a timely manner after the event is done.