LAWNDALE (CBSLA.com) — Will standing on a street corner and twirling a sign in the city of Lawndale soon be illegal?
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports the City Council wants to hear from the public on how it should regulate so-called “human” signs.
The Council has considered amending regulation for temporary and human signs at busy intersections, including keeping sign twirlers at least 12 feet from traffic and limiting businesses to six sign holders operating at one time.
But lawmakers on both sides of the issue are still unsure of the best course of action, with some councilmembers expressing concern about large inflatable balloons and sign twirlers wearing masks and costumes who cannot see behind them while they work.
Councilmember Robert Pullen-Miles is among those officials who fear the new regulations would result in the “carnivalization” of streets throughout Lawndale as owners seek to add more signage – human and otherwise – to compete for business.
Other cities like Redondo Beach have so far avoided prohibiting sign twirlers and instead have outlawed nearly every type of signage, while human signs in Tustin are not allowed to “spin, twirl, swing, or gyrate” under the city’s municipal code.
Mayor Harold Hofmann, a small business advocate, has signaled his support for the advertisers – so long as they pose a public nuisance.
“It doesn’t irritate me to see the monkeys or the gorillas out there, as long as they’re not obstructing people walking down the sidewalk,” Hofmann said.
Huntington Beach has outlawed sign spinners entirely, claiming their flashy moves are a distraction to drivers.
Still, many residents are sympathetic with their plight.
“I’m proud of those guys that are working, as opposed to panhandling or doing something destructive,” said one man.
The City Council is expected hold a public hearing on the matter in the near future.