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  1. #1
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    Angry Advertising Sign Benches

    Other then Center City I've seen these start to appear 2 years ago, I made complaints to L&I via the 311 system and of course got no service. As I suspected they began to multiply like cockroaches.

    I guess because the companies dropping them off at every corner feel like they are doing some type of "Service" for the public they are exempt from the law. Of course the inaction of the City doesn't help matters.

    It just pisses me off that nobody cares about the small things that matter to some of us.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth Hurts View Post
    Other then Center City I've seen these start to appear 2 years ago, I made complaints to L&I via the 311 system and of course got no service. As I suspected they began to multiply like cockroaches.

    I guess because the companies dropping them off at every corner feel like they are doing some type of "Service" for the public they are exempt from the law. Of course the inaction of the City doesn't help matters.

    It just pisses me off that nobody cares about the small things that matter to some of us.
    I noticed a proliferation of these benches about two years ago. Though they do offer a place for people to sit and wait for the bus, too often they become nothing but targets for graffiti vandals and places for bums to sleep.

  3. #3
    ArcticSplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemko View Post
    I noticed a proliferation of these benches about two years ago. Though they do offer a place for people to sit and wait for the bus, too often they become nothing but targets for graffiti vandals and places for bums to sleep.
    These aren't public benches are they... as in the City actually paid for them? I wonder how that works.

  4. #4
    BenDee is offline Senior Member
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    If they are in fact illegal and the city is not doing anything about them, I recommend a can of spray paint to 'beautify' the trash until the garbagemen pick it up.

  5. #5
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    Another bad side effect of these illegal benches is the trash that tends to accumulate around them. I recall a corner that got one of these advertising benches placed on it. In no time, the corner looked as if a garbage strike was going on. About a year later, the bench disappeared along with the litter that surrounded it. Unfortunately, about a month later, another bench appeared in its place and the litter began anew. Maybe, in addition to reporting bandit signs, we should report "bandit benches."

    Another scourge is those clothing donation boxes. Not only do they attract graffiti vandals and bums who rummage through them, many are the targets of arsonists. At least two have been set on fire in my neighborhood. Fortunately, they have since been permanently removed.

  6. #6
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    The same thing happened about 15-20 tears ago. At first the benches seemed to provide a benefit to the public, but then they proliferated like wildfire. Finally, the city cracked down and confiscated them all.

  7. #7
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    Yea, I have seen an increase in these around South Philly recently, mostly roofers from what I have noticed....

  8. #8
    ArcticSplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkey View Post
    The same thing happened about 15-20 tears ago. At first the benches seemed to provide a benefit to the public, but then they proliferated like wildfire. Finally, the city cracked down and confiscated them all.
    The city is going gangbusters on honor boxes in Center City for some reason.

    Jesus I wish they would go after REAL stuff instead of stuff near the tourist traps. Even now, WE provide most of the income to the city, not the tourists.


  9. #9
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    I talked to a guy who uses them for advertising. He said he pays a service monthly to install and maintain them and that it's approved through the city. He said he often calls the service to complain about a broken or graffitied bench, they are supposed to fix it. Sounded legit.
    Chris
    Philadelphia Salvage
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    542 Carpenter Lane - Retail and Custom
    2234 W. Westmoreland "The Foundry"

    "Anyone who would trade their freedom for safety
    deserves neither freedom or safety."

    - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
    ArcticSplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stock View Post
    I talked to a guy who uses them for advertising. He said he pays a service monthly to install and maintain them and that it's approved through the city. He said he often calls the service to complain about a broken or graffitied bench, they are supposed to fix it. Sounded legit.
    Need to get a list of who these companies are so the general public can field complaints to them.

    Otherwise, the only thing that can be done is to haul them off privately, or get out a paint roller and whitewash or greywash them over.


    But... I would like to see a test of the City's 3-1-1 system on one of these benches. If someone can put in a 311 ticket on a bench, we can all track it here and see what the City actually does with it.

  11. #11
    raider.adam is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcticSplash View Post
    Need to get a list of who these companies are so the general public can field complaints to them.

    Otherwise, the only thing that can be done is to haul them off privately, or get out a paint roller and whitewash or greywash them over.


    But... I would like to see a test of the City's 3-1-1 system on one of these benches. If someone can put in a 311 ticket on a bench, we can all track it here and see what the City actually does with it.
    That's probably the best solution to it.

  12. #12
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    Check out the below back and forth with 311, then check the ticket number.
    I thought at one point the City removed the one specific one I complained about, I found out that it was crushed by a vehicle involved in an accident at the intersection. Would the City be liable if someone was injured or killed while sitting on the illegal bench that was reported?
    By the way the company replaced the bench less then a week later.

    webgroup@phila.gov
    01/22/2010 01:13 PM
    To
    philly311@phila.gov
    cc

    Subject
    Website 311 Form Submission

    description := As a resident in Northeast Philadelphia I commute to center city everyday to work. Iíve been noticing an increasing amount of illegal advertising on fences, poles etc. Specifically, Union Roofing company benches and 215TreeCut signs. The signs are attached to numerous poles throughout the area. The benches are being placed all over the city in various spots to promote its own business. I believe they are in violation of the City code 10-1201. They are targets for graffiti and serve no legitimate purpose.
    Who should I complain to?

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philly311@phila.gov
    To:
    Sent: Mon, Jan 25, 2010 12:54 pm
    Subject: Re: Website 311 Form Submission

    Good Day

    Thank you for contacting the Philly 3-1-1 Contact Center.

    My name is XXXX XXX and I am going to try to help you today.
    A Comment/Complaint Ticket has been entered into our system for you.
    Your Ticket number is 753854.
    Licenses and Inspections enforces advertizing on any venue. You may call or email 3-1-1 to put in a Service Request for an inspection of any address that is posting illegal advertizing.
    I hope this was helpful
    Thank you for using Philly's 3-1-1.
    Sincerely,


    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    01/25/2010 04:59 PM
    To
    Philly311@phila.gov
    cc

    Subject
    Re: Website 311 Form Submission

    Hi,
    Herein lies the problem, there are no specific addresses, they are everywhere. Usually on street corners and poles, to specifically point them all out would be impossible. I know what needs to be done. Someone from L&I needs to contact these offenders and have them remove the benches & signs. The only thing that will stop this practice is fines or a least a threat of a fine. I'm now seeing Plumbing companies dropping off benches on street corners. This is happening along Aramingo Ave, Harbison Ave, Bustlelton Ave up until it leaves the city.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philly311@phila.gov
    To:
    Sent: Tue, Jan 26, 2010 9:34 am
    Subject: Re: Website 311 Form Submission

    Good Day:

    I have spoken to our Licenses and Inspections here in the 3-1-1 Contact Center and they have informed me that if you can at least give us the name and address of the company who is advertizing, we can use that to contact them. Unfortunately, due to the City's budget constraints, L & I has limited resources. We can only get to the we get complaints for.

    We look forward to your future correspondence.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    01/26/2010 09:01 PM

    To
    Philly311@phila.gov
    cc

    Subject
    Re: Website 311 Form Submission

    Hi,
    Unfortunately I know how the limitations in the budget causes the lack of enforcement. If things were run properly the city could probably make money. Be that as it may the company responsible for the benches can be found on the following web link. Frankford & Harbison is just one of the many locations.
    Roofing Services in Philadelphia, My Philly Roofer, Philadelphia Roofer


    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philly311@phila.gov
    To:
    Sent: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 8:51 am
    Subject: Re: Website 311 Form Submission


    Good Day:

    I did see that this company was cited in 2008 for the same offense. I have entered a ticket into L & I for them to check them out again. This ticket number is 758041. Please allow 45 days for any action.

    I will be happy to check on your request if you email me then.

    Sincerely,

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    To: Philly311@phila.gov
    From:
    Date: 03/18/2010 08:27PM
    Subject: Re: Website 311 Form Submission


    Hi,
    It's been 45 days so I'm checking back in with you.
    Thanks,

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philly311 <Philly311@phila.gov>
    To:
    Sent: Wed, Mar 24, 2010 7:09 pm
    Subject: Re: Website 311 Form Submission

    Dear Mr.,

    I apologize for the delay in processing your request. I have escalated this matter to an L & I supervisor for immediate action. As was previously explained, L & I has been operating with limited resources, and work is assigned on a priority (emergency) basis. This past winter's severe weather has caused many emergency building issues that L & I have had to respond to.

    Please accept our apologies and know that your matter will be handled as quickly as possible. Thank you again for using Philly 311 and we look forward to assisting you with future city services-related issues.

    XXXXX XXXXXX
    City of Philadelphia,
    311 Contact Center Supervisor, 311 Contact Center

    153 City Hall
    Broad and Market Streets
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    215-521-3558

  13. #13
    stock's Avatar
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    I'm pretty impressed with their responses so far. They are overwhelmed, I'm down there pulling permits. The whole system is a mess. I bet 90% of it could be done on line and free people up to be on the street actually inspecting rather than pushing paper. They would also make more money, as it is, most of the time you don't pull a permit and pay the fee because of the waste of time. It's not the cost of the permit or the street inspectors. The guys (and one girl) are pretty good.
    Chris
    Philadelphia Salvage
    Design Build

    542 Carpenter Lane - Retail and Custom
    2234 W. Westmoreland "The Foundry"

    "Anyone who would trade their freedom for safety
    deserves neither freedom or safety."

    - Benjamin Franklin

  14. #14
    ArcticSplash's Avatar
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    I'm wondering what it will take to encourage the City to look at fines and property enforcement from a revenue-generating angle. You know, since the tradition is to color outside the lines... make some money off the folks who not only color outside the lines, but scribble on the desks, too.

  15. #15
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    "Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd..."
    "...Smiling."

    Pink Floyd

  16. #16
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    I haven't seen any of these benches? Where are they? I don't have a problem with advertising on benches and trash cans if it means more benches and trash cans, but they need to follow legal protocol. Whether they accumulate trash and grafitti is just part of our overall litter and vandalism problem that is entirely inexcusable. Removing benches because they are targets for this activity is like shutting down nightclubs because they lead to drunk driving. If people know that the city is ticketing litterbugs and vandals, less people would litter and tag. The city needs to do its job. Still, the bench in the photo looks cheap and ugly. If businesses want to trade amenities for ad space, great, but it can't be allowed to go rogue. It sounds like the city is turing the same blind eye it turns on our litter problem.

  17. #17
    ArcticSplash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCnPhilly View Post
    I haven't seen any of these benches? Where are they? I don't have a problem with advertising on benches and trash cans if it means more benches and trash cans, but they need to follow legal protocol. Whether they accumulate trash and grafitti is just part of our overall litter and vandalism problem that is entirely inexcusable. Removing benches because they are targets for this activity is like shutting down nightclubs because they lead to drunk driving. If people know that the city is ticketing litterbugs and vandals, less people would litter and tag. The city needs to do its job. Still, the bench in the photo looks cheap and ugly. If businesses want to trade amenities for ad space, great, but it can't be allowed to go rogue. It sounds like the city is turing the same blind eye it turns on our litter problem.
    Heh there's 3 benches right under my nose. Now that I actually looked at 3 of them at York @ Aramingo, only one is at an actual bus stop, for Buzz Plumbing, who also had up a bandit sign:
    BanditProject.org - Sign Report - (215) 533-7000

    Another is for a roofer, the bench is never used and a third is for Bob's Check Cashing which is sitting in the middle of a traffic island that would be absolutely ridiculous for anyone to sit on.


    I'm surprised that Kenzos haven't stolen them to use as backyard seating.

  18. #18
    Preesi's Avatar
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    Why dont you pick a price and offer the city your services?

    You could create a job for yourself and a few buddies to haul away the benches...

    Miami, Fl has the CHICKEN BUSTERS you can print up tshirts and call yourselves the BANDIT BUSTERS

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcticSplash View Post
    I'm surprised that Kenzos haven't stolen them to use as backyard seating.
    FYI, those benches are a lot heavier then they look. Not as easy as I thought they would be.

  20. #20
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    TLP
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    Given the complete lack of transit money for improving low-use, neighborhood bus stops, I wonder if there's a way to codify the illegal ad benches to get the benefits of a place to sit for the bus? Maybe, the City could grant an illegal advertising exception to benches if:

    1) You file a permit
    2) You locate it at a bus stop, one per bus stop
    3) You maintain the bench (whatever the honor box rules are, maybe?)

    If you fail to comply with this, the City throws out the bench, revokes you permit, keeps your money.

    Of course, this makes sense in a world where the City has the resources for illegal advertising enforcement.

 

 

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