Special marks: “Permission to pass over”

These are all over the place, but you stop noticing them because they make no sense. Several of these plaques surround the Emporium/Sears/Uber building.


From looking at the material for an online real-estate course, I gather that property owners post these notices to prevent people from encroaching upon their rights by asserting an “easement by prescription.” Shopping malls used to claim that notices like these allow them to prevent people from leafletting, for instance. That got overturned. It seems like overkill, and unenforceable, to treat a sidewalk the same way, but then I’m not a lawyer.

The examples I’ve seen are pretty old. Here’s one from an address on Claremont Avenue.


And this one’s in front of the Hutch, on Telegraph near 20th Street.


It looks like there wasn’t a third line of text. Maybe the lawyers said this wording was sufficient. Maybe it cost too much for a skilled laborer to hand-set individual brass letters spelling out the whole notice.

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