Los Angeles, CA – A giant “Trump” campaign sign that appeared on a hillside by the 405 freeway overnight Tuesday was removed only hours later despite being constructed on private property.
The sign, made of giant white letters in the style of the iconic Hollywood sign, was first spotted at about 7 a.m. on Oct. 6 in the Sepulveda Pass hills, the Los Angeles Times reported.
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Chief Public Information Officer Lauren Wonder said the sign had been erected on private land.
But despite that fact, the state transportation authority ordered state workers to take it down because they thought the campaign sign supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection could be distracting for Los Angeles drivers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“This was a life and safety issue because there were concerns about distracted driving,” Wonder explained.
Someone put up a Hollywood-style Trump sign on the 405 pic.twitter.com/eCqtoIwN5q
— Samantha Cortese (@SamanthaCortese) October 6, 2020
Someone put up this Trump sign overnight along the 405 freeway, near the Getty. This is right in the middle of what’s largely considered one of the most liberal cities in America. pic.twitter.com/KlSdao4mwk
— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) October 6, 2020
However, freeway traffic did not appear to have been at all affected by the hillside signage, KABC reported.
A Trump sign was erected on the hillside along the 405 Freeway near the Sepulveda Pass. It’s unclear who put it there 📹: Sky5 pic.twitter.com/ac71WxbYW2
— KTLA (@KTLA) October 6, 2020
Caltrans sent workers to the privately-owned hillside to take down the Trump sign at about 9 a.m., the Los Angeles Times reported.
Wonder said that because the sign was on private property, workers simply laid it on its side rather than completely removing it.
Los Angeles residents from both sides of the political aisle raged about the sign on social media.
“What’s new in California, so typical! Same reason why I can’t have my Trump flag up in my neighborhood; I’m afraid of vandalism but five blocks over there’s 2 BLM signs that we’re all respectful of,” one resident posted, according to KCAL.
Numerous people said they would file a lawsuit if it had been their land and sign.
Some California voters told KCAL that if the sign had said “Biden” then they wouldn’t have had a problem with it.
“If you’re a Trump supporter in California, you’re very much aware that you’re in the minority, so Trump supporters may figure they need to take extraordinary steps to get attention,” Claremont McKenna College Professor Jack Pitney said.
“If someone put a Trump sign up in Alabama, wouldn’t be a news story,” Pitney pointed out. “In California, which accounted for Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin nationwide four years ago, it gets some attention and that probably was the point.”