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Bike Sign Advertising
updated: Mar 15, 2017, 2:57 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Is advertising via a sign on a bike parked out in front an establishment a violation of the City sign ordinance? I'm seeing more of these and they can be quite the eyesore.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 763626 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 03:25 PM

Honestly, American's, you have no clue how obsessed you are with rules. As for eyesore - go look up e-waste Accra Ghana - and then realize you Original Poster created a part of that eyesore, and a bike parked on a sidewalk with a sign on it matters not. geez.


 COMMENT 763629 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 03:38 PM

Silly logic 626, it is completely reasonable to deal with the set of circumstances you find yourself in, not try to compare to someplace else. I think its wise to deal with those who push limits and bend rules before they get bent so far they aren't recognizable any more.

Driving trucks around town that are only billboards or bicycle advertising will congest our streets and sidewalks, not to mention make our city ugly.

That said, it would be nice to see a photo of the blight in question in order to properly form an opinion.


 COMMENT 763635 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 03:44 PM

Agree with 626. Aren't there bigger things to worry about?

629, the poster didn't ask anyone to form an opinion, they asked about the actual ordinance. Try to read the actual sentences next time. And try to offer FACTS before they get bent so far they aren't recognizable anymore.


 COMMENT 763645P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 04:04 PM

I'm with 626. I care a lot more about people abused in myriad ways than a bike with a sign on it, regardless of broken window policy.


 COMMENT 763654 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 04:50 PM

I would imagine it would come down to whether the bike just sits there, in which case I think it would be considered a sign, or if it is used for transportation, in which case it's a bike that happens to have a sign on it while parked between rides.

But honestly, I can't imagine a bike with a sign being an eyesore or worth complaining about.


 COMMENT 763668 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:13 PM

They lamest thing about this way of getting around the sign permitting is they use up prime bike parking rack spots. These bikes are never ridden. You can see them sprouting up along state st. I think they are illegal the city has just not cracked down and started enforcing it. If enough people start doing it and the public complains the crack down will come


 COMMENT 763673 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:28 PM


Here, I'll break it down for you...

OP asked a question, 626 responded with a heavily biased opinion. I responded that I agree with OPs implied intent to protect the aesthetics of our city. I ended by suggesting that it would help to see the sign in question before voicing my own opinion regarding "a bike parked on a sidewalk with a sign on it matters not. geez."

And for those that "care more" for other issues. Mature humans can actually care about more than one issue at a time. I have yet to see someone suggest that we stop enforcing laws against murder and focus all attention on sign ordinances.


 COMMENT 763678P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:46 PM

629. I have your back on this one. It's definitely a blight if it's an attempt by the shop owners/employees to skirt the sign ordinance.

626. Deflection arguments are silly and consistently have no bearing on the subject at hand.

I have noticed there is a real need for some people to state, by way of rebuttal: "Well, it's worse someplace else" or "I bet you drive a car" type nonsense.

You want to debate? Let's stick with the original post and keep opinions on track.


 COMMENT 763680P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:50 PM

OP: Report such violations to City Hall and see what happens.

We had a truly obnoxious sign go up in our neighborhood, years back. Talk about blight. A couple calls and the sign was removed. If people keep silent, it's granting license for others to flout laws.


 COMMENT 763686 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:57 PM

I've seen signs on homeless people and hitchhikers. Not a problem.


 COMMENT 763688 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 06:08 PM

Was the advertising to promote a business on that street or an online enterprise? At least it wasn't a guy dressed as a slice of pizza... amirite?

Now if it had been a truck parked out front with a sign the size of a billboard I'd call it blight and be annoyed to the point of posting on a community site to vent my spleen.

But a bicycle?

That's smaller than the pizza costume or the guy with the sandwich board informing us we're all going to hell in a handbasket (though he might have a point presently).


 COMMENT 763694P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 06:19 PM

Chill Pill time for the OP, here.

There are much larger fish to fry out there.

Like cyclists in spandex that blow stop signs

Like people talking on their cell phones while at the movies

Like people using hand held phones while at stop signs

Like people who allow their children to drink soda pop



 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 06:51 PM

What is with comparing apples with oranges? The poster simply asked a question and there hasn't been an answer, just silliness. A picture would probably help with opinions about a sign ordinance.


 COMMENT 763708 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 08:20 PM

Again, with the "opinions about a sign ordinance." Ordinance is ordinance. You don't get an opinion.

I think the issue among posters here is that it's grown tiresome to hear all the "does this violate that" questioning that goes one here. It's both annoying and troublesome to see so many just chomping at the bit to blow a whistle on their neighbors and communities. Rather than using critical thinking skills, or *gasp* even researching the subject for themselves, we've seen many posters eager enough to mess with their neighbors, yet lazy enough to not do their own homework.

Hence the snark. It's well-deserved in many a case. I say live and let live, unless you've genuinely got nothing better to do. In which case, you've got much bigger problems than a bicycle sign.


 COMMENT 763717P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 11:05 PM

Tomorrow is a Thursday, is it still okay if I wear blue pants?


 COMMENT 763722P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 11:53 PM

708. And you don't consider your post snarky? Oh, my.


 COMMENT 763726 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 06:44 AM

OP, what about a plain bike ridden by someone in an outlandish costume that promotes a business? At a certain point I am happier I just live my own life and let everyone else live theirs. Certainly my choices do impact those around me and their choices do impact me but get some perspective (which you have received in abundance from other posters) and go forth and concentrate on living your own life well. You will be happier and those around you will be happier.


 COMMENT 763739 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 07:41 AM

no. city is already in hot water for unconstitutional sign rules.


 COMMENT 763755 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 08:13 AM

Imagine if the sign is advertising for competitor and sits all day. It's a sign and ought not be allowed.

The question was quite clear. Try to find the meaning/intent in the question. This is pretty clear cut as written.


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 08:56 AM

Here's an attempt to answer the question: Years ago the federal courts ruled that signs on parked vehicles could not be prohibited by local governments under the 1st Amendment--an early acknowledgement that "commercial speech" was protected. (That case had to do with "For Sale by Owner" cars parked on city streets.) Soon thereafter huge trailers with large advertising billboards were being pulled around city streets, parked on city streets, etc. Something seems to have stopped that practice so perhaps there has been an update on the case law I noted above. If not, bicycles with signs may be a protected class of behavior (though subject to some challenges, such as a time limit).


 COMMENT 763772 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 09:04 AM

It really is crazy that no one can answer the original question. We have 635 telling 629 that the OP didn't ask for an opinion while giving his/her opinion. We have people proclaiming that the OP is petty because what is important to the OP isn't important to them (compassion wouldn't hurt here)
We have people declaring that there are bigger problems that we should all be focused on.
When did we all get so self important that we feel it is our right to tell others how to think and feel?
If something is happening in my living area that impacts me in some way, it is important to me. If I can't figure it out on my own, doing my own research and talking to my circle of friends I may want to put it out to the community in case someone else had a similar situation and can help.


 RHS agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 10:25 AM

Here's a relevant federal case: Ballen v. City of Redmond: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12170799/ballen-v-city-of-redmond-ninth-circuit-court-of-appeals/1
Court threw out a local ordinance banning certain kinds of advertising/signs and protected an employee hired to stand on the sidewalk with a sign saying a bagel shop was now open.


 COMMENT 763793 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 10:29 AM

This entire thread is soooo typical Santa Barbara.......
Get into everyone else's business/ life and make sure they are criticized---because they aren't doing/ acting/ thinking // talking as they "are supposed to be acting/talking/etc."

Get. A. Life. and leave the rest of we sane people alone........


 COMMENT 763811 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 11:00 AM

Oh wow. WHO CARES about a sign on a bike? Boy, some people have way too much time on their hands and way too nosy of a disposition. Makes me sick.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 11:12 AM

772 is a voice of reason and certainly makes sense. Thank you!


 COMMENT 763839 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 12:15 PM

absolutely ridiculous... really, there aren't more important things to worry about? jeeze louise!


 COMMENT 763848P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 12:54 PM

Here's a data point that I think is related (explaining why a business might choose to advertise via mobile bike sign, rather than permanent sign.) We had a business in Goleta and lost our lease. We were going to move the business to another Goleta location. That original business had an approved sign, that simply stated the name of our business, in 18" high letters. The City of Goleta wanted $1200!!! for a "sign permit" to move the sign from one building to another. We asked if our business HAD to have a sign on it. We were told it did not. If the second location had gone through, we would not have put a sign with our business name on our business, because just moving the sign was equal to one month's rent! Business owners are not stupid, and when government greed overcomes common sense, business owners will find a way around stupid fees, permits, or ordinances.


 COMMENT 763899 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 04:50 PM

In answer to the question - No, a sign on a bicycle is not in violation of the sign ordinance. As previously mentioned signage on vehicles is unenforceable.
The City would love to regulate them but it simply can't. The business is cleverly circumventing the very strict rules on moveable signage.

The City could potentially confiscate the bike if left in the same spot day after day, hogging a bike lock location as after a certain period it could be considered abandoned but I'm sure the crafty business owner is smart enough to move the bike in and out regularly.

I'm curious if the OP finds graphics on trucks and vans as offensive? Would you prefer business owners not park in front of their own buildings? I don't see the bike any differently. Pretty sure you're talking about the Persona Pizza bike, I'm sure they could argue it's used for deliveries.


 MIDDLE GROUND agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 08:26 PM

I recently made contact with the City of Goleta about business signage. I was sent a copy of Chapter 35 of the Santa Barbara County regulations.

It doesn't say a bike sign isn't allowed but in 35-4 it says a "portable" sign is not allowed.

Section 35-3 defines a couple pages of sign types, but none seemed to fit this situation.

All signs that businesses use must go through city planning and it costs an arm and a leg. $1400 minimum each instance that the board has to review it ($600 for "certificate of conformance" + $807 for the design review board fee).

It's possible the business got the sign approved through the city as they have the final word since the language of the ordinance is vague.

Pretty darn expensive if you ask me. I was advised to do any and all types of signs allowed at one time because the fee is the same price.

OP can choose to report this to code enforcement, which will be somewhat obligated to give you an answer if you follow up with it either online or by calling/emailing.

Edhat peeps- what's with all the drama? Keep it real.


 COMMENT 764001P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 09:16 AM

It's really ashamed that people are actually trying to find things to complain about like this. Honestly, there are 40+ vacancies on State Street and the City is trying desperately to figure out how to keep businesses on State St. Nickle and diming the businesses who are being fleeced by landlords is not the answer. I guess the OP just doesn't care if the downtown gets taken over by the homeless sleeping outside all the vacant storefronts.


 COMMENT 764019 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 09:51 AM

001p lack of signs have nothing to do with the high vacancy rate on State Street. There have been many posts in the last month about the root causes of the vacancies, look one up and peruse the comments, they have a lot of interesting information and opinions. (a need for more signs not being any of them)


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