By Marissa Bailey and Dan Kraemer

(CBS) — They are everywhere in Chicago: street signs in such a state of disrepair that they are simply unreadable, leaving motorists and residents confused and frustrated.

There are hundreds of thousands of signs on Chicago’s streets, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. The city places a priority on fixing signs that ensure public safety, like stop signs or one way signs. The department installed 35,000 new signs in 2017 alone.

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“I just think the signs are so old. There probably hasn’t been a serious priority in replacing those signs,” Ald. Howard Brookins said.

CBS Chicago found many signs that were unreadable, some with street sweeper icons with no written rules and others with blank faded spaces.

“The city will ticket people even though the sign may be faded,” Brookins said.

In some neighborhoods like Bucktown signs are often obscured with stickers. In many cases the message of the sign is completely covered.

Here are some examples:

(CBS)

Mayfair Neighborhood

The top no parking sign (above) is unreadable.  On the bottom sign, the days and times and arrow are easy to read but the rest is faded. Red tends to fade faster than other colors, the city says.

 

(CBS)

 

 

Mayfair Neighborhood

There’s a nice looking snowflake (above), but the letters are almost entirely gone.  You can see “CHES” in INCHES, but that’s about it. This is likely a sign to alert motorists that this street is a snow route where parking is prohibited or restricted. However, that’s impossible to know.

(CBS)

Mayfair Neighborhood

The “Chia Pet” of signs (above). See it hiding in the leaves?

(CBS)

Auburn Gresham Neighborhood

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This sign (above) seems like a cruel trick for the young kids trying to learn to read at the Montessori School. Drivers are supposed to do something, or not do something, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Who knows what?

 

(CBS)

Auburn Gresham Neighborhood

What does SNOW ROUTE (above) mean?

(CBS)

Pilsen Neighborhood

This sign (above) must have something to do with street sweeping (and possibly no parking), but what does it mean?

(CBS)

Logan Square Neighborhood

There’s a P and a faded circle/slash on this sign (above). The bottom half looks like it has some stickers and grey paint perhaps?

 

(CBS)

Wicker Park Neighborhood

Any idea what the bottom sign (above) says? Not with all the stickers

(CBS)

Noble Square Neighborhood

A ONE WAY sign (above) with the arrow covered. The city says signs involving safety like this one are a priority to repair. (We reported it to 311 and the city, as promised, fixed it Wednesday.)

To report damaged signs, residents should call 311 and crews will replace them as quickly as possible. Anyone who feels they were ticketed wrongly due to an unreadable sign can take a photo and contest the ticket through the Department of Finance.

 

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