Street signs are missing everywhere

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

NO DIRECTION: The intersection of East Fourth Street and Highway 11 in Picayune is missing something, street signs. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

NO DIRECTION: The intersection of East Fourth Street and Highway 11 in Picayune is missing something, street signs.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Street signs along roads within Picayune go missing from time to time. These simplest of roadway features may not seem like much, until they are needed.
Drive down Highway 11, and a number of signs are missing. The same goes for Memorial Boulevard or just about any street.
Public Works Director Eric Morris said the city of Picayune makes every effort to replace signs when they can. However, there are certain signs that are deemed more important than others, which include stop, yield and other safety signs. For that reason, the city keeps those in stock so that when they go missing city employees can replace them quickly.
Street signs however, are not uniform, so they have to be ordered. Morris said that the city typically orders signs at once to save on shipping when ordered from Custom Products Corporation.
Typical street signs cost $36 apiece to replace, but the decorative signs that are being put up around the historic section of the city cost $92 per sign.
At times the city can also order them from Roper Supply Company on Beech Street in Picayune, which can make a street sign in about a day, Morris said.
Over the course of a year, Morris estimates that the city spends about $6,000 in the replacement of signs, including all signs along with the hardware and posts.
As for why the signs go missing in the first place, it’s due to a combination of theft, and accidents. Morris said at times simple traffic accidents can knock a sign from the post. And while Morris speculates that some of the signs go missing due to theft, the crime is hard to prove.
Picayune Police Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said the fine for stealing a street sign falls under petit theft, which carries a possible fine up to $1,000 and or six months in jail. To his recollection no one has been charged with the crime in the recent past.
Currently a number of street signs are missing at intersections in Picayune. Morris said he counted 19 signs missing at the 40 intersections along U.S. 11, just within the city limits. That number does not include side streets, or other major roadways. Item staff have noted a number of street signs missing from intersections along Memorial Boulevard, Sycamore Road and various side streets in residential areas.
Morris said his staff attempt to keep up with the signs, along with a variety of other tasks. As such he does his best to prioritize that work, such as ensuring intersections are clear of vegetative overgrowth. Morris said city employees recently cleared vegetation from 29 intersections to ensure motorists could see the signs.
If a city resident notices a missing street sign, they can report it to the public works department by calling 311 and providing that information.

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