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At one time it was illegal to place political signs in median strips in Wilmington. Is that still true?

Amanda Lisk

Yes and no.

Political signs are still not allowed to be placed in median strips that are on Wilmington city-maintained streets. However, under Senate Bill 315 (enacted by the N.C. General Assembly in August 2011), political signs may now be placed in the median strips on state maintained roads only, which are most of the well-traveled, more visible roads within Wilmington city limits.

In addition, this new law overrides any city sign ordinances that would prohibit or limit placement of political signs on state maintained roads says Malissa Talbert, communications manager of the City of Wilmington.

Click here to to view a map showing which roads are state roads and which are city maintained.

Senate Bill 315 (click here to read the bill) was designed specifically for political campaign signs and does not include commercial signs. It states that political signs may be placed in the right-of-ways on state roads with some restrictions. For example, political signs cannot be placed on highways such as Interstate 40, be closer than 3 feet from the edge of the road or obscure motorist visibility at intersections. The bill also restricts the size of the political signs. They cannot be more than 3.5 feet higher than the edge of the road, or be larger than 864 square inches (generally about 29” by 29” or 24” by 36”), and they cannot obscure or replace another sign.

The state Department of Transportation can remove any political signs not adhering to the rules. And, as always, permission must be obtained from a property owner before a political sign can be placed in front of a residence or business.


Why are people running for political office allowed to put signs up beside roads when any business doing so would have the sign removed?

If those 2×3-foot signs that pop up on every corner are illegal, why are they still on every intersection?

Is there any way to stop the harassing political phone calls?

User-contributed question by:
Jim Lewis

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