No person shall place, maintain, or display upon or in view of any public way any unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device which purports to be or is an imitation of or resembles an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or which hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any official traffic-control device or any railroad sign or signal, and no person shall place or maintain upon any public way any traffic sign or signal bearing thereon any commercial advertising.
Every person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense. Every sign, signal, or marking prohibited under this section is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and the commissioner of transportation is empowered to and shall remove the same or cause it to be removed without notice.
This section shall not apply to crossing guards displaying portable stop signs to permit the street crossing of children or to “Neighborhood Watch” signs installed and maintained by local residents or organizations; provided, however, that “Neighborhood Watch” signs shall be uniform in size, color and design as approved by the Chicago Police Department and shall be installed only on residential streets, at least eight feet above curb grade, not less than 150 feet from any intersection and in such a manner as not to obstruct any traffic or other regulatory sign or signal. This section also shall not be deemed to prohibit the erection, upon private property adjacent to public ways, of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for official traffic signs.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 12-11-91, p. 10832; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-08, p. 43682, § 1)