Get Rid of the Signs
Have you ever noticed as you travel the streets and byways of Wheeling, the numerous small signs pushed into the ground or affixed to fences, and utility poles? We counted 21 at exit 4 coming off of I-70 into Elm Grove. These signs were in the state right-of-way and they varied in their message from opportunities to have your grass cut, roofing done, help wanted, and garbage and trash removal services to mention a few.
I’m sure you get the picture, and it certainly isn’t an attractive sight. What kind of image does this present to visitors to our city? These types of signs can be found in various locations throughout the city and county, and although illegal, seem to flourish and spread as time goes by. We’ve seen signs advertising events that occurred in July of 2019. These forgotten signs eventually get knocked, or blown, over adding to the litter that seldom gets picked up. You’ll find them placed on private property, such as the Elm Terrace Shopping Mall, and state and city rights-of-way and easements, without approval of the property owner(s), and certainly without approval, and in non-compliance with the city’s sign ordinance.
I question, as I’m sure others do, who within our beloved government bureaucracy is responsible for determining what signs are legal, where and how can they be posted, and how long can they remain in place. I know for a fact that the vast majority of the “shoved in the ground signs” are not permitted by city code. I wonder why I, and many others, can see this visual pollution, but those individuals tasked with enforcing the city code cannot. Has it become so common place that it is taken for granted, and ignored? Or is it something more sinister, perhaps someone not doing their job. Why have a sign ordinance if it’s not fairly and equally enforced? Not a big thing, you say. I beg to differ. In my opinion it is an early sign of the onset of urban blight, and it definitely is a sign of the city administration turning a blind eye to another problem that could be easily corrected if they had the desire to do so.
It seems to me that all it would take is to instruct all city crews to remove the illegal signs as they come across them during their travels throughout the city. OK, on another subject, how many of you have visited the lower market recently? Well I have, and to tell you the truth I was disappointed to find the city (which owns the market) has done little to decorate it for the Christmas holidays. There were a number of shoppers going in and out of the shops, and I thought to myself, wow, this area has the potential to become one of the jewels of our community. I then said, why hasn’t the city done more to decorate for the holidays, you know, make the place more inviting and attractive? I heard someone remark that they thought the beautiful white Corinthian columns (I think that’s what they’re called) should have been wrapped with pine ropes with bows. What about a modest monetary investment to install an outdoor sound system to play seasonal music? Maybe it could be used occasionally to provide timely announcements about events, sales, and unique shopping opportunities. Wrapping up, no pun intended, I offer the following: An old-time butcher shop (and more) in the Woodsdale section of Wheeling that a ton of people shop at regularly called Miklas Meat Market. They and other small businesses are the backbone of our city and you’re missing out if you don’t stop in to see what they have to offer. You might want to try the meatloaf mix, ready to pop into the oven and bake. We did and it was great.