Free-standing sidewalk signs in the North End are on just about every street in the community and in many cases the signs interfere with pedestrian passage, especially impeding handicap access.
Some of the local sidewalks are so narrow they are barely passable when the signs are in place.
While some businesses realize the problem and take the time to make sure their signs are placed properly, many others do not and they are in violation of handicap laws as well as city policies.
The city has passed an ordinance establishing a one-year pilot program to ensure public safety regarding sidewalk signs and was put in place January 1, 2016.
Local businesses that utilize street sidewalk signage should contact the City of Boston Public Works Department (PWD) to obtain the new rules and regulations.
PWD will monitor the pilot program and take the appropriate action necessary for violations.
The North End is an extremely busy place with all the restaurants, other places of business, many summertime outdoor events and thousands of tourists passing through.
If not properly placed, maintained and removed when businesses close, the signs are a public safety issue and at times they force people to wander into the street just to get by.
It’s okay to promote businesses on these signs but policies have to be complied with as well.