Boxes of Blight is intended as a free public service to Philadelphia newspaper companies who care about perceptions of their role in the community, feel a sense of social responsibility and understand that they are not above the law.
Philadelphia Official City Code 9-211 calls for owners of newspaper "Publisher's Boxes" to repair "any malfunctioning, vandalized or otherwise damaged box within seven calendar days of the occurrence of any such damage. Keeps such box clean and free of graffiti, broken parts, pasted bills and debris of any description, including ruined or out-dated publications.." See more requirements and a link to the code below.
Are we blaming the victims? While wishing that the city would aggressively pursue and prosecute every vandal, there is something different about newspaper boxes that seems to attract stickers and graffiti. Many are surrounded by bus shelters, utility poles, fire hydrants and other likely palettes which are much less frequently targeted, and the difference appears to be the lack maintenance, with the same publishers looking best or worst across numerous locations around the city.
Hopefully, this blog can also become a platform for solutions and alternatives, but denial of this blight on our city will stop right here.
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Boxes of Blight
Official Philadelphia City Code 9-211. Boxes for the Distribution of News and Printed Material. 
9-211. Boxes for the Distribution of News and Printed Material.
How many violations can you spot? Specifications for Publishers’ Boxes include:
The box shall be manufactured from materials that permit easy removal or repair of rust, graffiti, glue and other signs of outdoor abuse, exposure or wear-and-tear, including refurbishing of faded or stained colors.
No person shall place, maintain or operate a publishers’ box on the public sidewalk unless such person: Maintains such box in good working order at all times. Repairs any malfunctioning, vandalized or otherwise damaged box within seven calendar days of the occurrence of any such damage. Keeps such box clean and free of graffiti, broken parts, pasted bills and debris of any description, including ruined or out-dated publications..
Keeps such box free of all advertising, except for information regarding the publication offered or displayed in such box.
No box may be attached to any utility pole, traffic or parking sign or device, trash receptacle, fire hydrant, directional sign, bicycle rack, or other utility pole or fixture. No box may be placed or maintained within 3 feet of the edge of a driveway, marked pedestrian crosswalk or curb cut; or within 5 feet of a sign designating a regular bus stop.
No box may be placed or maintained within 3 feet of a fire hydrant.
No box may be placed or maintained in any space so as to reduce the width of the pedestrian passageway on the sidewalk to less than 4 feet. No two boxes displaying or offering the same publication for sale or distribution may be placed or maintained within thirty (30) feet of one another, unless such boxes are across the street from one another;
The Department or its designee may remove or cause to be removed from the sidewalk any publishers’ box that: Has remained damaged or vandalized for ten (10) or more consecutive days so as to render it inoperative or a hazard to public safety and health;