In (Britain) uk sign board street signs are commonly targeted by youths for vandalising and using them as a graffiti canvas. We see it a lot and most councils do well to clean it off using chemicals and other cleaning techniques however, it comes back in quick successions and the council are forced to put in their money and time into continuously cleaning graffiti. But is there any way around this? Street signage within the United Kingdom are predominantly placed low down on a brick wall at the top and bottom of the street as opposed to the street signs within various other countries like America who use sign poles. A city in Malaysia named Kuala Lumpur has developed a brand new idea to prevent graffiti and vandalism in general to the city’s street signs. The city has raised the height of the signs significantly meaning vandals could not reach. The city’s corporate planning director Dr Ismail Stapa said the new signs for street names are placed higher and on single poles.
“We decided to make the panel bearing the street name higher to discourage people from posting illegal advertisement stickers.
“The 2.4m signs with angle view are being installed in stages in all the 11 parliamentary constituencies here.”
The city council have already constructed over 1,300 road signs throughout the city’s capital since July of 2012. The old street signs were only around one metre off the ground and therefore easy targets for vandalism. Motorists in the city have complained that the graffiti paint and stickers make it hard to find their way as sometimes the street names are not visible.
A local citizen stated that “As the new signs are on a single pole and are higher, the obstruction on the pedestrian walkway has been reduced.
“I hope that this will solve the illegal advertisement menace in the city. We depend on road signs to go to unfamiliar places but the stickers are a nuisance.
“I’ve had on a few occasions lost my way when the road signs were covered with illegal ads.
“In Singapore and some states here, the road signs are normally placed at traffic lights, making it easy for drivers to reach their destinations without having to look for signs by the roadside,” she added.
The signs which have been recently dotted around the city could prompt other cities or even countries to opt for this anti-crime method of directing local pedestrians around. Although this idea has yet to be used within the United Kingdom, these particularly taller street signs have been used in main cities in the States as they have been occasionally used in New York.
In other cases, and perhaps more suitable to be used in the UK, in the city of Honolulu in Hawaii, street signs have been covered in a special coating in which makes the signs ‘immune to spray paint’. The city is not the typical exotic Hawaiian city you would expect it to be at the moment due to large numbers of vandal’s spray painting and ruining street signs which has caused residents to get lost when following directions. “Anything that will reduce the prevalence of graffiti on our island in the city and county of Honolulu – we’re in,” said Chief Louis Kealoha of the Honolulu Police Department. The signs are said to not only repel spray paint, but are also sticker proof.
The city is already beginning to look cleaner due to the scheme and should be worth the extra cost after taking into consideration the endless cost of graffiti removal products.
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