By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Transportation says it is the municipality in which a sign is erected that is responsible for that signage.
Portsmouth City Council recently took up the issue of such things as advertising benches and billboards within city limits. A sign at Fourth and Gay streets was also discussed.
“Those signs are approved by the state,” Mayor David Malone said at the meeting. “They just happened to overlook that one for some reason. The city doesn’t have any ordinance or anything that addresses that.”
Now, in response to a question from Russell R. Doyle, a candidate for city auditor, concerning red anti-King’s Daughters signs in yards on Scioto Trail and a billboard on U.S. 23, Vaughn Wilson, District 9 Deputy Director of ODOT, says such signs are the responsibility of the city.
Wilson said their review found the red signs are on private property and, therefore, are neither under the control of nor can be removed by ODOT. He also that that although billboards are also under the city’s jurisdiction, questions about the billboard can be directed to ODOT’s Office of Advertising Control.
“Although U.S. 23 is a federal route, the area in question, which is located between the route’s intersections with Bertha Avenue and 32nd Street, is within the city of Portsmouth and is the responsibility of the city,” Wilson said in his correspondence. “However, your concerns were forwarded to the appropriate staff in the district’s highway management and traffic departments for their consideration.”
Wilson said ODOT is responsible for the construction and maintenance of all state and federal roads that exist within state-owned right of way.
“Since Ohio is classified as a home rule state, jurisdiction for the maintenance that lie within villages, cities, townships or counties falls to the respective local government entity,” Wilson said.