DOT: Political signs not allowed on state highway right-of-way

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Walker sign

Walker sign

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning that state law prohibits placement of political signs (or signs of any type) on any state highway right-of-way.

The State Highway System includes all numbered state, federal and interstate highways. In general, state highway right of way in rural areas extends to beyond shoulders, ditches and any adjoining fence line. In urban areas along the state highway system, signs are prohibited from the roadway area to at least one foot past the sidewalk.   

Signposts, street name marker posts and most utility poles are all within highway right of way. Signs are not allowed within highway medians or roundabouts. With the landowner’s consent, political signs are permitted on private property without a billboard permit as long as the signs do not exceed 32 square feet and contain no flashing lights or moving parts. 

Improperly located signs are dealt with as part of regular highway maintenance. A sign that poses a traffic safety hazard will be promptly removed. Road crews are asked to make reasonable attempts to preserve campaign signs that are taken down and to provide campaign offices an opportunity to claim the signs. 

Homeowners could be fined $10 to $100 for signs that violate state law.

CLICK HERE for more information via the Wisconsin DOT website.