Dear PoP – Follow Up on Regulating Newspaper Boxes Question

“Dear PoP,

In response to last week’s post about newspaper boxes, I found a partial answer. I took these photos of boxes at 18th and H NW. Looks like these boxes are regulated by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. Even assuming that all BIDs regulated boxes, that would still leave a lot of boxes that sit outside of BIDs unregulated. From the sign, it looks like the BID asks publishers to sign on to a voluntary agreement regarding maintenance of the boxes. I’m not knowledgeable about first amendment issues, but I believe that since BIDs aren’t government entities (or probably even quasi-governmental), they wouldn’t be subject to first amendment restrictions. And even if they were, the agreement being voluntary might get around that.”

Cool, thanks for following up!

6 Comment

  • I know it’s only one photo but I don’t see anything wrong with those boxes. I can’t imagine that every paper box owner in the Golden Triangle BID’s area has signed a voluntary agreement. What makes me suspicious is if the avenues of communication have been open so far as to have agreements signed then why can’t the BID just call or send a certified letter to the offending publisher? I’m sure the guy refilling the boxes could pass along the information but I doubt repair is something that happens quickly.

    • Original poster here. I agree, I couldn’t see anything wrong with these boxes either. I was in the area again today and noticed a lot of perfectly fine looking boxes with tags on them. I’m really curious what the criteria for the tags are.

  • I don’t see how the BIDs have authority to remove someone’s property without permission. They’re not a government agency.

    • the tag notes that there is a voluntary agreement in effect.

    • It is public property and there is nothing that says it has a RIGHT to be there. 🙂

      • I agree. If it is left there, is it technically private property?

        There is a filthy old newspaper box on 14th that is missing a door. Newspapers blow everywhere. Is it, and I suspect it isn’t, against the law for me to take a handtruck and move (remove) the box (perhaps to a different location or a dumpster)?


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