The Mystery of Decatur’s Missing Newspaper Boxes

Call up the Hardy Boys!  Nancy Drew!  Encyclopedia Brown!  There’s a mystery afoot!

OK, so it’s only really a “mystery” because I’ve yet to ask anyone who might know.  But hey, it’s the weekend, and city employees won’t be back in the saddle until tomorrow.  So I thought this might be a quicker way of getting an answer.

A very observant Steve writes in…

The least few days I’ve noticed all the newspaper, real estate, automobile, etc. vending racks have disappeared from downtown. For at least the past month, they all had notices on them that their permits were due for renewal, Maybe they’re been removed per City Code Sec 86-23?

Or MAYBE it’s all part of Decatur Metro’s sinister plot to rid the city of all other sources of information!  Bruuhahah!

9 thoughts on “The Mystery of Decatur’s Missing Newspaper Boxes”

  1. Steve is correct. I was working downtown last Monday morning around 10:30 and there was a city truck being loaded up with every box in front of Parker’s. Hoe-larious!

  2. I think it’s a shame myself. I miss being able to pick up a Creative Loafing on my way to breakfast or lunch.

  3. I would miss Creative Loafing, The Champion, and The Sunday Paper–when stuck in line or out with kids, it sure is nice to be able to pick up some reading so you don’t just stand around irritated. (Of course if a community bookshelf were around…..). But I won’t miss some of the other free papers that seem to be strewed around more than read.

  4. The City Commission updated the Publication Vending Bin ordinance last year (November 2009). All publications will have to apply for new permits for locations in the public right of way (e.g. sidewalks, plazas). The oridinance does NOT apply to indoor locations or private property. New permits will be issued by lottery on March 18th. More information can be found on the city’s website at

    We changed the ordinance to clarify where bins could be located to provide for safer pedestrian access. Some of our sidewalks are not wide enough to fit a newspaper box and 2 people walkng side by side.

  5. Thanks Decatur officials! Wish the ATL was run so well.

    The bins are public garbage that are second only to fast food wrappers in the public litter pantheon. Real eye sores – especially the plastic advertising crap. They shouldn’t be permitted at all.

    Public space should not be facilitating private advertising. Keep Decatur clean and tidy.

  6. The City of Decatur has violated the First Amendment by removing news boxes from public rights of way before offering an alternative (the proposed group boxes). It amazes me, a long time journalist, that any city government could be as oblivious (or is it hostile?) to the rights of its citizens to have access to newspapers.

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