Reader Poll: Should Street Sandwich Board Signs Require a Permit?

At the end of August, the Boston City Council voted to reject continuing a pilot program that allowed street sandwich board signs without a permit. The one-year temporary ordinance had allowed these signs as long as they followed certain rules, including size restrictions and displaying business contact information.

There are arguments made for these signs as important marketing tools, and also arguments against these signs, saying they add to sidewalk clutter.

What do you think – does the promotion of local business on city streets outweigh the additional crowding on the sidewalk? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

4 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Street Sandwich Board Signs Require a Permit?

  1. You can’t walk down half of the sidewalks in the North End without walking into a Sandwich Board… the sidewalks are small enough without having to dodge a sandwich board…

  2. Signs should be kept only to those well above head height. No permits for sandwich boards. No sandwich boards. Clearer, safer, more attractive sidewalks – less clutter, less need to step into oncoming vehicle traffic just to dodge some promotional advertising. It’s public space, let’s keep it for the public and not chip away at it for some commercial benefit. Though… a dedicated fee for sandwich boards set aside to benefit sidewalk and street cleaning in the North End… how about $1,000 per square inch of sidewalk taken, paid daily?

  3. As long as the sidewalk has enough space for say a wheel chair or a carriage to get by then they should absolutely be allowed to put a small sign outside without a permit. Lets all use some common sense.

  4. The sandwich boards are a nuisance and often dangerous when pedestrians need to step off the narrow sidewalks and worse when people stop in their tracks to read them.
    Is the NE becoming more cluttered — trash on sidewalks Mondays and Fridays; sandwich boards here and there – sidewalks requiring single file in some instances – and let us not forget the residue from leaking garbage bags that lives on the streets and sidewalks until a good rain comes along.

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