Saturday, June 25, 2016

Duda's Farm having trouble with roadside signs because PennDOT

Ah, roadside farm stands. They're a hallmark of summer. Need some tomatoes or sweet corn? There's probably a sign along 40, 51, or 119 guiding you right to some. And if you're like me, you kind of look forward to this--when the time comes, you hit your nearest Duda's stand to stock up on your weekly produce. Maybe even eat less junk than normal and instead have corn on the cob, stuffed peppers, or zucchini. And their roadside signs are so familiar, you almost don't notice them.

Unless you're PennDOT, or rather, the person who complained to PennDOT about Duda's signs.

Duda's took to Facebook asking for community support after being told to take the signs down. Apparently, Duda's needs a permit for the signs, as they don't fall under exemptions that political signs, yard-sale signs, or other small, temporary signs on private property placed with permission have. Which doesn't make much sense to me--while I'll grant Duda's signs are typically larger than those other signs, they are still temporary. Plus Duda's says the signs on private property were placed with permission, so it's hard to see what the problem is here.

Duda's feels they're being targeted, and it's hard to argue with that, especially considering they noted similar signs that are apparently okay. PennDOT says they're only concerned with signs people complain about, so...which one you complained about Duda's signs and why? Also, if all signs are illegal, why not go after all of them and get money off them fines? Surely PennDOT could always use more help paying for the construction that is every-damn-where, not to mention everyone's favorite, fresh oil and chips.

So why not just apply for the permits? Well, they have, but of course, it's a long process, and they'd like to be able to keep the signs up in the meantime. Duda's also turned to local politicians for help, particularly Rep. Pam Snyder, who introduced a bill allowing such signs to be put up without permits.  It's currently awaiting action in the state Senate.

In the meantime, I personally suggest visiting your closest Duda's stand and showing your support. For my fellow expats, you can find one in the parking lot of Washington's Crown Center mall.