Philadelphia launches robocalls to pester posters of ‘bandit’ signs

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 Philadelphia launches robocalls to pester posters of 'bandit' signs (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia launches robocalls to pester posters of 'bandit' signs (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia has a new weapon to battle illegal signs that sprout like stubborn weeds all over the city. City officials are getting obnoxious.

Posting signs on poles is almost an Olympic sport in Philadelphia; there’s at least one political sign that has outlived the politician it touts.

The city Streets Department has come up with a way to repeatedly call the numbers on the “bandit” signs until they’re removed, said Commissioner David Perri.

“What we’ll do is we use Swiftreach for notifying the public for different programs or changes in schedules for the streets department, so we’ll put that bandit sign phone number into the system and program the automatic dialer to call every 15 minutes,” Perri explained. “I would say, in about 50 percent of the cases, it results in the person who put the sign up taking it down.”

Councilwoman Cindy Bass says she wants other city agencies to adopt the rapid-fire robocalls.

“We should use that for other things too, maybe problem landlords, fix up your property, fix up your property,” she said. “They should get a call every 15 minutes … How about that, there’s an idea.”

For now, only those with illegal signs will be receiving the barrage of calls.

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