A one-man sign crusade

By Bennett Hall, Gazette-Times reporter | Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dave Picray is taking the law into his own hands.

On May 11, angry at what he calls “visual pollution,” Picray removed several commercial signs from the public right-of-way along Corvallis streets and lectured some of the owners on the city’s sign ordinance.

He relocated a couple of sandwich boards propped outside the Verizon Wireless store on Northwest Third Street, confiscated a pair of Bula Realty signs planted along Northwest Fourth Street and uprooted a Keller Williams real estate sign on Northwest Walnut Boulevard.

According to Picray, city code prohibits such signs in public areas such as sidewalks and parking strips, the patch of ground between the sidewalk and the curb. But that provision is widely ignored, leading to a proliferation of sandwich boards, lawn signs and other freestanding advertisements all over town.