The Boston Globe reports today that Newbury Street was recently subject to a crackdown on business advertising signs standing on the sidewalks. The article notes that such signs "have been illegal for decades". In fact, they've been illegal for much longer than that. Keeping sidewalks free of encumbrances has always been important to Bostonians.
From "An ordinance establishing the office of Superintedent of Streets, and prescribing the dutiess thereof; to prevent unlawful and injurious practices in the streets of the City--and in relation to Side Walks. [Passed Aug. 22, 1833]
Section 15. Be it further ordained, That if any person shall place or cause to be placed, any trunk, bale, box, crate, cask, or any package, article or thing whatsover, on or over any part of any public street, lane, court, or alley in this city, except as is provided in the last preceding section, whether the same shall be exposed for sale there, or otherwise, and shall suffer the same to remain more than three hours after it is first placed there, or more than ten minutes after notice to remove the same, given by the Mayor, or some other person by him authorized, the person or persons so offending, shall forfeit and pay the sum of two dollars for every such offence."