Legislative Committee Considers Roadside Memorial Regulation

by scrosby on August 4, 2009

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A legislative committee in Frankfort studying whether to regulate roadside memorials is also questioning another growing use of public rights-of-ways, reinforced mailbox enclosures. Chuck Knowles of the Transportation Cabinet says many of the brick and stone enclosures pose serious safety hazards, but it’s extremely hard to regulate them.

“We basically, for lack of a better word, have been overwhelmed by the number of mailbox structures, as well as the vanity walls that you’re talking about, of driveways,” says Knowles. “For us to go back and try to get all the people who have those encroachments on a right of way taken care of would probably take an act of the legislature.”

Regarding roadside memorials to lost loved ones, Knowles says they’re not regulated by any specific state policy. He says the state is respectful of the memorials, and unless they pose highway safety or maintenance problems, they’re pretty much left alone.

Some other states are not as permissive, and require permits, fees and official signage.

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