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Punk rock telephone poles. The scourge of Portland

Is there a political agenda for the ban on posting flyers on telephone poles, or does Mayor Katz actually think that the corner scraps and staples look better?
Is there really a majority of Portland residents who are offended by a heavily papered utility pole? Nothing adds to the urban charecter than many layers of posters creating a nice little cushion to lean against, when your down on your luck and unshaven, flipping a coin in the air like on the old Warner Bros. cartoons. Or do we prefer a stark collection of rusty nails, staples, and waterlogged scraps of paper, telling nothing of the crappy band it once advertised, not knowing if the lost cat was ever found. And tar. The fucking tar. A couple of months ago, I was on my way to meet a blind date, and I inadvertantly placed my hand in a big spot of tar, which would have otherwise be those wonderful posters. While I may have been a doofus for not paying attention, the irony of the situation is still valid. I should not have to show up for my date looking like I stuck my hand up a bear's ass. Not in the name of urban beautification. If you have a problem with that, than let us be a city, go buy a house in Hillsboro, but make sure all the other houses in the block look like yours, and go to your room. And don't come out.

...don't do as seattle did 01.Oct.2002 12:33

matchboy matchboy@tearitalldown.com

flyers add character...

...and those who post should be willing to do cleanup in return.

is the city of portland considering the banning of flyers?

Seattle lifted the ban 01.Oct.2002 12:37


Seattle lifted the ban in the last month, to happiness from most of the city. I pray that mayor Katz isn't thinking of putting a ban in, just one more step in the gentrification of portland proccess....

The Anti-Postering Campaign 01.Oct.2002 13:01

No-Doz Bukowski

As far as I know, there's no current legislation on the books that would lead to an immediate law against postering. There is, however, a group of business owners called The Anti-Postering Campaign who send form letters out to all the local papers and businesses. These letters focus on the negative aspects of "visual pollution", pushing the idea that flyers on telephone poles make a neighborhood look trashy and drive away big-money customers, and equating postering with vandalism. This is the reason why, in gentrified neighborhoods like NW 23rd, flyers disappear practically overnight.

Those fuckers. And I agree - the poles with jagged nails and staples look a lot less classy than poles covered in a diverse selection of flyers. I remember before the anti-postering campaign, when every telephone pole was an organic sedimentary mountain range of Portland's artistic history. So cool.

I mean, the yuppies came to The Pearl because they wanted to live in a funky, artistic neighborhood and feel cool, right? So why do they insist on transforming that very neighborhood into another generic upper crust shopping and restaurant district? Total lack of self-awareness among those swine.

For a while, the folks from PSWhat? were running an "Anti-Anti-Postering Campaign Campaign", producing massive quantities of purely artistic flyers and covering the whole city with them; but I think they kind of lost steam.

5000. - N.

urban professionalism 01.Oct.2002 13:52


flyers add information (what is "character" and who decides when/if it is added to a 'neighborhood'?)


people could register fliers (like college campuses do for bulletin boards), get them stamped and approved (i know, fuck authority--trust me, i personally wouldn't go this route, but maybe some would choose to not buck the sys) and this would give them a display-time limitation.

then, the punk ass city could have them cleaned up.

of course, there could be no registration requirement but the material could still be dated for the sake of "courtesy"; this would allow the city cleaning droids to remove such unsightly postings. of course, the people who want a pretty and flierless hood would still have a problem w/ the fact that there would be fliers waiting in the wings for posting.

leave yuppies alone. yuppies are good. they teach us more about freedom by demonstrating what it looks like when humans, "artistically" speaking, paint themselves into one corner of the canvas (why are most canvas paintings i see rectangular anyway?)

get rid of the poles 01.Oct.2002 13:56


during the battle to determine whether we would use ac or dc, edison pushed his dc system.
dc power had a "flaw". it could not be sent any great distance without huge power loss penaltys.

Death from contact with dc current even at household voltages did the plan in. curiously, edison's political backers arranged to have the first sacrifice to die "in" an electric chair, killed with ac.

edison lost the big one.
we lost a few things too. dc would have run underground in a tunnel alongside other services. this could have been included in the final plan. the web of wires and dead trees that blight any view .would be unknown.



Maybe something like . . . 01.Oct.2002 14:55


stickers that could be affixed to business windows who particpate in the taking down of stuff (reading something like "This Business Supports Silencing Public Voices in Public Spaces."

Maybe a blowback would happen. But who's got time to go try to get a resolution passed to stop those campaigns when there's a war on?

just a thought. I hate those assholes. The ones I've seen are older people. But I've also seen young people do it. I went up to one guy doing it at my school and started talking to him about it and he turned around. He just hadn't even really thought about it. Sad.

RE:get rid of the poles 01.Oct.2002 15:30


>>dc would have run underground in a tunnel alongside other services
Yeah and we'd all be flying to work on personal jetpacks and live in space-needle type houses like on the Jetsons.

If you want to live in a neighborhood without telephone poles, try one of those Brady Bunch/Stepford Wife neighborhoods such as Tigard. Yuuuck!

But then, if that's your taste...

what if it wasc orporate advertising 01.Oct.2002 15:42


what if it was corporate advertising, would you be so ready to defend it?

Didn't think so -- You're just a bunch of hypocrites. Free speech for your favored group.

Too late, ladeda 01.Oct.2002 16:28


You must live in Tigard. Several events have been postered on Portland poles (formerly known as trees). For example, last summer's Eagles concert (wasn't that like $100 a head?), brought to you by the Rose Garden (hey, where's the roses?), and well known grass-roots organizer, 'boy, I could sure use a pie in the face', Paul Allen.

So, in fact, since I haven't heard anyone proposing any restrictions on participants, pole poster advocates are currently standing up for corporate access, whether they like it or not.

Good point though. Their should be a cutoff for for-profit organizations that clearly have ample resources to take advantage of traditional promotion tools. Or, perhapse an additional restriction for for-profit organizations who are based other than locally.

What if it was corporate advertising? 01.Oct.2002 16:38


Corporations aren't people and shouldn't have the same rights. And corporate "speech" (advertising) isn't "free"--it costs a lot of money.

If corporations didn't monopolize virtually all of our communications channels, maybe actual people wouldn't be reduced to putting flyers on telephone poles.

fu shyit 01.Oct.2002 16:39


the race for profit did it in.

like a fart in church, a fly in my soup, and bugs on my windshield are you............

Free Speech Venue 01.Oct.2002 17:04


Why not use the pole poster venue as an opportunity to express free speech. Make posters that express our politicial views. Poster, for example, this all over town.
Free Speech Venue
Free Speech Venue

Poster ban in Eugene 01.Oct.2002 20:25

Frank Lee

Eugene does have a poster ban,and the city makes people take them down as part of community service.And we are left over with staples,creosote,and uglyness.It is a fine of over 100.00 for those caught flyering.This put a real damper on the undergroung punk scene since the late 90's. If you do flyer for shows and events,be sure and use wheat paste whenever possible,this makes it very difficult for anyone to remove them.And its more green then staples or plastic tape.

Rent 02.Oct.2002 01:33


Who owns the poles, the city or the utility company?

If I were PGE, I'd just say to anyone with a poster needing posting, "give us X dollars a month and you can post as much as you want, or else we'll take them down."

Former trees...hmmm good point 02.Oct.2002 10:53

Kolokea Hale noeyetrash@allgone.com

Imagine a Portland where all the wires were underground, no poles and no billboards. Take down the billboards and the poles. Sometimes less is more. Keep it green.

photo of the dastardly poles 03.Oct.2002 00:23

digcam kid

well-postered poles line Hawthorne in the SE 20's like the grand elms in nearby Ladd's Addition
photo of the dastardly poles
photo of the dastardly poles

photo of the dastardly poles 03.Oct.2002 00:23

digcam kid

well-postered poles line Hawthorne in the SE 20's like the grand elms in nearby Ladd's Addition
photo of the dastardly poles
photo of the dastardly poles