PEARL RIVER, NY Sept. 6, 2017 --- How did we ever communicate with our neighbors before the Internet?
We chatted with them as we walked the dog or waited with the kids at the bus stop. We took a break from mowing the lawn to discuss the events of the day over the back fence or on a breather from raking leaves or shoveling snow out of the driveway.
But, if we lost a household pet, sponsored a teen car wash, hosted a garage sale, opened a lawn-care business, ran for public office or threw a block party, the first place we went to spread the news was the utility pole.
Before anyone ever imagined the Internet, one of the most popular local message boards by default became the utility poles that line many of the community’s streets. The poles were one of the most convenient and accessible methods for hosting a posting. Signs of every shape, size and message sprung up every season --- especially during the political season.
Now, times have changed. The Internet is the most effective marketing tool ever conceived. We have a distribution list for everyone from the Cub Scout troop to the choir group and everyone in between. The neighbors are at our texting finger tips.
And, still the pole signs prevail. Not satisfied with texting everyone we know, we want the carriage trade passerby as well. No one can pass our block without seeing posts on poles about our garage sales.
Unfortunately, those signs and posters more often than not pose a safety risk as a visual distraction to motorists, particularly at street intersections, and a litter nuisance. Further, such signs can obscure the pole’s 10-digit I.D. number, hindering customer efforts to determine a definitive pole location when reporting outages or damage.
So, O&R today issued a reminder to its customers, particularly all political candidates and their campaign workers as we enter the electoral season, about O&R’s long-standing policy prohibiting the posting of all signs on utility poles.
This policy is grounded in very practical safety and litter control considerations and O&R is asking the cooperation of all who hang signs for car washes, lost pets, garage sales and political campaigns for compliance.