Bandit Sign Crackdown!

A familiar scene in Philly neighborhoods.

By Ainé You’ve seen them. Let’s just take the intersection of Wayne Avenue and Berkley in Germantown near Wayne Junction. It’s full of the sloppy, bright, ugly, stupid signs offering to buy your house in cash, repair your roof, install a phone line, give you cash for gold, unclog your drain or even serve up a DNA test! The signs have been termed “Bandit Signs” and street spam. I’d have to say, the majority of them are “real estate” signs preying on people who might have mortgage trouble or need quick cash and are forced to sell their homes. Some are even hand-written. You can find them on fences, telephone poles and even trees.

This isn’t a Philadelphia problem – it’s worldwide. Check out, a national organization dedicated to helping people eliminate street spam (the tools section is full of sign removal tips!). Here’s another cool resource for street spam information in New Orleans:

A big thank you goes out to Christopher Sawyer in Kensington. When we saw his story on CBS Eyewitness News it reinvigorated our campaign against bandit signs! Check it out:

Philadelphia Man Takes Stand Against Illegal ‘Bandit Signs’

“Someone has to clean up this litter, and I’m not getting paid for it, and there’s only a few people at the City cleaning it up,” said Christopher Sawyer in a comment on the CBS Philadelphia website. “I want to help the word “Filthadelphia” fade away into a long forgotten memory. Like short dumping and the ugly non-artistic graffiti tags, if nobody cleans it up: who will? Cleaning up Philadelphia starts with ourselves, and we have to start somewhere.”

Bottom line. Street spam is ugly and illegal. Keep your eyes peeled around Germantown as we organize and begin removing it! Down with street spam! Up with the neighborhood!

PS: A clever soul nearby 12th and Poplar found a very creative use for these signs: We Bird Houses


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