Skeptics and Critics of Roadside Memorials

Unkempt Memorials Become Eyesores

Sidewalk Roadside Memorial North Portland Cascade CampusRoadside Memorial Boring Oregon Not everyone is in support of roadside memorials. One point of view, is that if everyone dies, why should one who dies on a roadway be commemorated more vigorously than anyone else who died another way. Other complaints usually stem from memorials that need tending, where unappealing soggy teddy bears, deflated balloons, and bleached out photographs have become eyesores. Others oppose religious symbols placed on public property. Yet, another argument is that the memorials are a distraction to drivers. Other opponents believe roadside memorials infringe on public spaces, and that memorials are for cemeteries not highways.

Roadside Crosses and Potential Hazards

Tripple Cross Roadside Memorial Highway 212 Boring Oregon PortlandRoadside Memorial Sandy OregonThe Freedom From Religion Foundation based in Madison, Wis., says their group opposes the religious overtones of the memorials, as well as the potential road hazard they could create. "We can all feel sorrow about a roadside accident, but do we have to be preached at every time we drive by?"

Some people find Roadside Memorials hazadarous when too close to the roadway.

Roadside Memorial Interstate 5 Northbound OregonRoadside Memorial Hillsboro OregonRoadside Memorial Sandy Oregon

Law Regarding Removing Roadside Memorials

Roadside Memorial Highway 14 WashingtonOfficials are reluctant to tell people how to mourn or to remove the memorials. Survivors often risk their lives to clean up and repair their memorials after bad weather or time take their effects. However, while the shrines can avert traffic incidents, officials do not want things on the roadsides that could cause a crash. When appropriate, and deemed safe, some officials are deciding to allow roadside memorials to remain up for up to three months.

City waste disposal companies typically allow these displays to become completely dilapidated before they are removed. It is a grey spot where displays are sometimes considered by highway officials to be nuisances, or even dangerous because shrines are often left unattended for long periods of time or indefinitely.

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