In what's become an election-year ritual, Rochester city officials are warning residents and businesses to watch where they show support for candidates.

State law says campaign signs can not be placed on a city street right of way.

The right of way includes boulevards and medians, as well as public streets, bridges, bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and pedestrian bridges over roadways. In most cases where sidewalks are present, the right of way extends to at least the edge of the sidewalk closest to private property.

Unlawfully placed signs in the right of way will be removed by Public Works crews and held at the Public Works Transit and Operations Center. The Public Works center is at 4300 East River Road NE, and pickup can be coordinated by calling 507-328-2450.

Violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties can apply if the placement of signs contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.

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All state, county, city and township roads and highways fall under the same state law.