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City to Start Fining Small Businesses for Sidewalk Signs

Small businesses take note: If you use an A-frame sidewalk sign outside your business, you may pay for it. Starting today, the Chicago Department of Transportation said it will start issuing citations of up to $500 for "public way violations" for sandwich board-like signs that are used to attract patrons by small businesses and restaurants.

The city said these types of signs are unsafe for pedestrians and cause an obstruction on the sidewalk, according to an email warning sent around by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. Additionally, the office of the city's Commissioner of Transportation has been slapping warnings on newspaper boxes saying the boxes are on public property and must be removed or will be done so by the city at the news organizations' expense. Is this a way for the city to help make up for rising debt?

When is the last time you heard of people walking into these types of signs and hurting themselves? It seems that more people would hurt themselves because they're too busy texting or looking at Facebook on their smart phones. Help spread the word so small businesses already hurting from the sagging economy don't have to pay an unnecessary fine of $500.
· City to Fine Shops with Sidewalk Boards Beginning Tomorrow [Chicago Pipeline]

[Photo: Chicago Pipeline]