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November 23, 2017, 08:07:07 pm
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Author Topic: Zoning Update Opportunity - Let's get rid of pole signs in Tulsa  (Read 4604 times)
PonderInc
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« on: April 02, 2015, 01:56:11 pm »

Since we're updating our zoning code, this seems like a terrific time to think about what we want for our city.

Here's a simple suggestion: let's PROHIBIT POLE SIGNS



They make our city look like crap, and I can't understand why we continue to support this urban blight.

I travel all over the country, and I can tell you that pole signs are no longer being built in communities that care about their image.  Cities large and small have moved to small-scale ground signs as the standard for commercial signs.  The more affluent the area, the smaller the signage, and the better the landscaping and pedestrian amenities around it.  Pole signs are starting to be code for "we don't care about this part of town." 

Then I come back to Tulsa and have to look at them every day.

So here's the language I think should be added to the new zoning code:

The following signs are expressly prohibited: Pole signs.

We also need to be thinking about limiting the size and height of all signs. We don't need 40' tall signs in the city of Tulsa.
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Townsend
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 02:34:49 pm »

I absolutely agree with you.

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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 04:26:35 pm »

That stretch of road could be an example of how NOT to design an urban area. Not pedestrian friendly. Offset buildings. Ugly signs. Many over head wires. Almost worthless sidewalk.

Compare that to Brookside or Cherry street. Same basic purpose. Both would cost the same to build. One looks great and attracts investment. One doesn't.
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dsjeffries
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 07:30:56 am »

I agree with you. Here's an example of where the Tulsa Trifecta is pronounced: 47th & Mingo and 46th & Memorial. Notice how the traffic signal pole and electrical poles compete for space while a sidewalk abruptly turns to gravel and then ends, and to get to the pedestrian crossing button, a person would have to climb a small grassy knoll. Meanwhile, in the background, pole signs are dancing like no one's watching. This does not look like a city that cares. This looks like blight, plain and simple, and it is a visual reminder that humans who walk don't matter, aesthetics don't matter, safety doesn't matter, and that cars are the most valued things in this city. In case you're wondering, this is what "private property rights" combined with public disinvestment looks like.



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saintnicster
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 07:36:18 am »

While we're at it, let's get rid of Neon signs too.  I mean, people just don't take care of them, and they can look like absolute crap, flickering all the time /s
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PonderInc
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 08:45:06 am »

It's interesting to read the different goals of different cities' zoning code.

Here's what Ft Worth say about signs:

   (b)   It is the intent of these regulations to achieve the following:
      (1)   Enhance the economic value of the landscape by avoiding visual clutter which is potentially harmful to property values and business opportunities:
      (2)   Promote the safety of persons and property by providing that signs do not create a hazard due to collapse, fire, collision, weather or decay;
      (3)   Protect the safety and efficiency of the city’s transportation network by reducing the confusion or distraction to motorists and enhancing motorists’ ability to see pedestrians, obstacles, other vehicles and traffic signs;
      (4)   Enhance the impression of the city which is conveyed to tourists and visitors;
      (5)   Protect adjacent and nearby properties from the impact of lighting, size, height and location of signs;
      (6)   Preserve, protect and enhance areas of historical, architectural, scenic and aesthetic value, regardless of whether they be cultural, natural or human-made; and
      (7)   Encourage the removal of off-premises signs from designated scenic, cultural, architectural or historic districts or corridors.

Here's the proposed Tulsa language.  I don't understand why we're so flimsy and gooey about commercial signs.  Was there a sign manufacturer on the citizen's committee?

60.010-A Purpose
The sign regulations of this section are intended to balance the following differing, and at times, competing goals:
  1. To support the desired character of the city, as expressed in adopted plans, policies and regulations;
  2. To promote an attractive visual environment;
  3. To encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication for businesses, organizations and individuals;
  4. To provide a means of way-finding for visitors and residents;
  5. To provide for reasonable business identification, advertising and communication;
  6. To prohibit signs of such excessive size and number that they obscure one another to the detriment of the economic and social well-being of the city and its residents, property owners and visitors;
  7. To protect the safety and welfare of the public by minimizing hazards for motorized and nonmotorized traffic;
  8. To minimize the possible adverse effects of signs on nearby public and private prop-erty; and
  9. To provide broadly for the expression of individual opinions through the use of signs on private property.
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dsjeffries
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 09:05:48 am »

Why the hell is this even included?

   9. To provide broadly for the expression of individual opinions through the use of signs on private property.

Can we just copy Ft Worth's section on signs? Theirs is better-written with better goals and uses simple language to make very clear, succinct points.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 09:10:22 am by dsjeffries » Logged

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AquaMan
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 09:18:59 am »

Would the Ft Worth code have allowed that giant phallic symbol sign that OSU put just north of downtown? Nothing more than a brick embellished, landscaped, neon lit, pole sign.

In contrast to the OU Shusterman corner which has some class.

Can you tell I'm wearing my sooner cap? Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 09:23:00 am »

Here's the proposed Tulsa language.  I don't understand why we're so flimsy and gooey about commercial signs.  Was there a sign manufacturer on the citizen's committee?

What I learned as a guest of the Sign Advisory Board a few years back...
Out of fairness, the SAB did (does?) include several members from sign companies, as well as seemingly random citizens.
The result is the random citizens bow to the expertise of the sign professionals and just let them run the show.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2015, 10:41:26 am »

I guess another obvious question is: do we really "need" any more billboards in Tulsa?

We could prohibit new billboards, and simply allow those which are currently existing in the freeway corridors to remain legal non-conforming.  This would open the possibility of phasing out billboards over time.  Years ago, Tulsa tried to do this, and a couple little mom-and-pop billboard owners jumped up screaming about the city taking away their livelihood.  Now that all the billboards are owned by Lamar and other international corporations, I don't think that should matter.
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2015, 09:19:28 pm »

Interesting this thread came up just now.  I was in Florida for a project this last week.  Went from one area to another and someone mentioned how things in this one area looked so ratty, even though the buildings were newer.  Then they pointed out that what was different were all the pole signs.  I then noticed what they were talking about.  Funny how here in Tulsa we are used to it and don't notice how bad parts of town look compared to areas in other cities that don't have them.  The "nice" looking areas where we were mostly had signs lower down and it really does make a difference on how pleasing things look and feel.
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Conan71
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2015, 09:48:21 pm »

i spent part of the last week in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. They have very strict sign ordinances and no pole signs are allowed.  You can actually almost drive by the McDonalds without noticing it even exists.  If not for the drive-through line, I’m not sure I would have picked out the golden arches the first time I drove through.

They are a few weeks away from a Wal-Mart opening. After years of resisting overtures by big box retailers, they gave in.  It is a more “rural” Walmart and their sign meets their sign requirements but still kind of sad to see Walmartism arrive in a place we treasure so much for being devoid of national retail for the most part.  All the locals we talked to were not real fond of this coming in other than being able to buy socks and underwear without having to drive an hour to Durango anymore.
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Ed W
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 01:04:50 pm »

I think code outlawing pole signs is a bad idea because it's a job killer. It will not only put many young women out of work, it will also shut down their opportunities for artistic expression. Right thinking people should oppose this change!

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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 05:12:02 pm »

I have two caveats that I would proffer. 

One being I like diversity and yes creativity so wonder if there could be some areas where pole signs are allowed and some where they are not.  How to decide that would be a bugger though I am sure.

  Also, I have fond memories of the old Route 66, neon type signage that was still around when I was a kid and wonder if along the "various" route 66 corridors in Tulsa if allowances could be made for fanciful new, or retro themed pole signs to be allowed there as well. 
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
davideinstein
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 08:17:16 pm »

Pole signs help business. The electric poles are the beautification issue. The business poles help people make a living.
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