(JUNEAU, Alaska) – With political campaigns underway across the state, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is reminding Alaskans that the use of public rights-of-way for political advertising is prohibited.
In 1998, Alaskans overwhelmingly voted to keep the state free from outdoor advertising. Alaska statutes and regulations address unauthorized signs both within and along the state’s public rights-of-way including parked vehicles displaying such signs and signs on private property. Though the boundaries of the public rights-of-way are not always easily determined on the ground, the laws prohibit all unauthorized signs legible from the traveled way.
Signs placed within the state’s public rights-of-way are prohibited. This applies to vehicles parked in rights-of-way that are used to display political advertisements. Such signs create safety hazards by obstructing views, distracting drivers, and creating obstacles in collisions. These signs may be removed by DOT&PF crews without notification.
Signs placed along the state’s public rights-of-way are also prohibited. Alaska laws apply to signs on public or commercial property either within 660 feet of state’s public right-of-way or beyond 660 feet and legible from the main traveled way. These signs may be removed by the state at the expense of the property owner.
In accordance with the law, the owner of the property or the person placing or maintaining the unauthorized sign is subject to removal expenses of at least $50 per sign, fines of at least $50 and as much as $5,000 if convicted of a misdemeanor, and associated costs.
The State of Alaska recognizes that advertising is an important effort and expensive investment. Campaigns and volunteers should be aware of the prohibitions regarding advertising in and along the state’s public rights-of-way. For more information, please visit http://dot.alaska.gov/campaignsigns/ and contact your regional state right-of-way office for assistance related to specific rights-of-way.
Heather Fair – Statewide Right-of-Way Chief