The public may post information on some utility poles if the postings follow regulations outlined in Article 5.6 of the Public Works Code. The law was adopted to ensure that flyers posted on public property do not contribute to litter or blight. Illegal postings in the public right of way may be removed by our Bureau of Street Environmental Services and are subject to fines from $100 to $500. Call 311 to report.
Signs are defined as any card, decoration, poster, campaign sign or any object containing or bearing writing that is affixed, posted or fastened to a utility or light pole that is permanently attached to the street or sidewalk. Signs do not include handbills, banners or A-frame boards. Bulletin boards designed for neighborhood postings are exempt from this regulation.
Signs attached to buildings and on private property are regulated by Part II, Chapter I of the Building Code and violations should be reported to the Planning Department's Code Enforcement or call 311 to report.
Tips for legally posting signs on public property
To legally place a sign on a utility pole, it must:
- Be less than 11 inches in height
- No higher than 12 feet from the ground
- Conform to the shape of the pole
- Be attached with tape or other non-adhesive material such as twine, string or other non-metal banding material
- Include a legible posting date in the lower right hand corner
- Be removed after 10 days, if the sign is promoting a date specific event
- Be removed within 70 days of the posting date
- Not be installed on historic street light poles*, traffic signal poles or traffic directional sign poles.
* Historic street light poles are on these streets:
- Market Street from 1 Market to 2490 Market
- Mission Street from 16th Street to 24th Street
- Grant Avenue from Bush Street to Broadway Street
- The Embarcadero from King Street to Jefferson Street
- Lamp Posts on Fisherman’s Wharf from Hyde to Powell
- Howard Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street
- Lamp Posts within Union Square
- Mason Street from Market to Sutter
- Sutter Street from Mason to Kearny
- Kearny Street from Bush to Market