Q: Our neighborhood association would like to have sign toppers installed on our street poles as a way to show neighborhood pride. How do we do this?
A: Sign toppers are becoming more common in Dallas these days, but keep in mind two major factors: cost and approval. Because sign toppers aren’t associated with public safety, the city isn’t required to maintain this type of signage, nor does it have enough funds for installation or maintenance. The city does, however, allow sign topper projects to be privately funded. Here’s how it works:
1. If a neighborhood association decides it wants to foot the bill for sign toppers, it first needs approval from the city’s public works and transportation department. (This is required to ensure that signs do not interfere with public safety or federal sign standards.)
2. The request for sign toppers must include a design. Dimensions can be no bigger than 24 by 9 inches.
3. Neighbors must identify where to place the sign toppers. They can be installed only at locations with existing street name signs. Neighbors also must indicate sign direction — the streets with which the sign toppers will be parallel — and should determine the street pole type by measuring the circumference of each pole at the point the sign will be attached.
4. If the city approves the plan, the neighborhood association will bear the cost of the entire sign fabrication and installation. Sign manufacturers typically charge about $30 for each double-sided sign. Each set of brackets and hardware usually costs another $30. Plus, the association must pay the city to install the sign toppers because only city staff is authorized to work on public streets (the charge is roughly $20 per pole). Installation usually is complete within four to six weeks.
5. One last thing: The city can remove your sign toppers at any time without replacement if they become unsightly.
For information about sign topper projects, contact Alex Wong at 214.670.4654.