No, they‘re required by contract, a bad 20-year contract engineered by somewhat corrupt former Mayor Willie Brown.
Blogger Michael Petrelis is looking into these things, particularly some in the Castro – be sure to follow along his adventure this month as he considers attending one the semi-secret meetings that DPW hosts with Clear Channel and others.
These things, which are/were a burden to small local newspapers in particular, seem to require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Multiple crews were working simultaneously on Market Street a few weeks back:
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Just as the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk was a case study against district elections, ridiculous 20-year contracts what tie the City’s hands are case studies against San Francisco’s Strong Mayor system.