Hanging Banners Over Roadways

Wide Range of Uses

Over-the-street banners, or road banners, are great tools for advertising community events , parades, election campaigns, marathons, fairs, festivals, concerts and the like. Some uses include:

Community Events - Promote upcoming or annual local events like fairs, community happenings, and much more.

Welcome Banners - Extra-large over-the-street banners can be used to greet guests both coming and going.

Information Banners - A large banner that identifies your company at trade-shows, exhibitions, conventions and more.

Auto ShowBanners - Go big to highlight sales, promotions or just display a company name for easy visibility.

Expositions/Events - Nice, large banners get attention, give directions, inform, identity and decorate at big events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to check with my city before purchasing an over-the-street banner?
Since over-the-street banners will be spanning the gat between two free-standing objects over a road, many cities have very specific requirements to meet safety regulations and insure the banner is built properly and installed properly. Giving your local city government a call and inquiring about specific over-the-street banner requirements is always safer than assuming - if the banner doesn't meet the regulations, you may not be able to hang it or have to spend more money on a new banner that meets the requirements.

What are some of the special requirements an over-the-street banner might need to meet?
Some of the more specific requirements that can complicate the production of an over-the-street banner include special heavy-duty material, pole pockets to allow the banner to be tied off with rope or cable, reinforced edges for banner stability and strength, grommets installed in a specific pattern to accomodate an existing cable display system. Some cities may also require wind-slits to allow air to pass through the banner more freely as well.

What is a typical over-the-street banner size?
Most over-the-street banners are 24" to 36" inches in height with lengths varying from 20 feet to 45 feet or larger. It really depends on the amount of text on the banner and the width of the road. Your message needs to be large enouch to be visible to passing motorists and foot traffic in addition to meeting city ordinances.

Are all over-street banners double-sided?
Typically over road banners are double-sided so that they can be seen in either direction. Some have the same information on the front and back of the banner, while others may contain two different images, offering different messages to those coming and going. Single-sided over-the-street banners are less common but still effective - especially mesh banners - for over road use.

Are over-the-street banners weather proof?
These durable banners are made to withstand typical weather conditions like rain, moderate winds, heat, snow, etc. Over-the-street banners are meant to last through 3 to 5 years of continual outdoor use and can be used indoors indefinitely.

Best Practices

For across-street banners, it is often best to run metal cables across the road. Once the metal cables are tight, the banner can be attached with snap hooks mounted across the top and bottom of the banner's length. For stability, we also recommend attaching bungee cords in each corner, which attach to poles or buildings on either side of the street. In addition to providing stability, the corner bungees prevent the banner from sliding back and forth along the wires.

Most cities have regulations regarding banners suspended over a street. Often, permanent guide wires are already installed for changing banner installations along a busy street. Professional installation of across-street banners or those in a potentially windy location by a licensed and approved company is an absolute must for the following reasons:

  • Must apply for, and receive, a valid permit from the city.
  • Every city may have slightly different codes for installation, display and maintenance of over the road banners.
  • There is no such thing as a “normal installation” when it comes to suspending large banners over roadways.

Installation Guidelines

When installing banners that will hang over a street or between two poles or posts, it’s very important to be installed properly to ensure that the wind load is evenly distributed across the length of the banner to ensure that it will last. The banner needs to be tightly secured between two high tension, aircraft-grade cables that run across the top and the bottom of the banner between the poles.

Some common requirements for over-roadway banners include:

  • All banners must have reinforced, hemmed edges
  • Banners will feature grommets installed into the hemmed edges to provide a superior bite and excellent durability.
  • Each grommet shall have an inside diameter of 3/8 in. and shall be installed minimally 3/4 in. from outside edge and not more than 1-1/4 in. from top edge.
  • Banners must have wind slits of sufficient size and number to prevent wind damage to the banner and hanging mechanism.
  • Maximum banner length is usually 40 ft. (D-ring to D-ring along the top edge).
  • Maximum banner width (height) typically cannot exceed 4 ft.

Because this is an example, we won’t actually be getting permits and hanging a banner over a road. We will use the right materials and some imagination to spread the message of how a banner is properly displayed over a road.

Step 1: Identify Your Location
For this exercise, we have selected two poles that are approximately 12’ apart. The poles have been tested and are very sturdy, providing excellent stability for our installation of a 2’ x 7’ vinyl banner.

two sign posts, between which the banner will be suspended.

Step 2: Install Support Cables
Using high tension, aircraft-grade cabling (found at any hardware store), a banner support system is created by fashioned by stretching tight a cable below and above the banner. These cables need to be stretched as tightly as possible, creating an extremely sturdy hanging element.

high tension, aircraft grade cabling is used to suspend the banner

Step 3: Securing the Banner
The banner is attached to the tight cables on bottom and top, ideally using fasteners such as bungee cords or springs because they help to keep the banner stretched tight and wrinkle free. Alternatively, zip ties can be used if you do not have access to more “stretchy” fasteners.

Bungee cords are used to attach the banner to the cables
bungee cords or springs help keep the banner tight and wrinkle-free

Step 4: Adding Support
Once the banner is secured on top and bottom, additional support bungees are added to the sides in order to prevent the banner from sliding from side to side along the main cables. The side supports keep the banner centered over the road and help to eliminate any wrinkles, keeping the banner stretched and highly readable.

bungees on the top and sides hold banner tight
bungee cord attached from banner to pole

Step 5: Wind Reliefs
In order to prevent the banner from becoming a giant sail over the road, it is highly recommended to cut wind reliefs (also called wind slits) into the vinyl material. The small, half circle slits allow wind to pass freely through the banner, reducing stress placed on the material and reducing the amount of wind related strain on the support poles. If your banner is made from mesh material, you can skip this step, as the banner is already designed to minimize the negative effects of wind.

close-up photo of a wind slit
wind slits reduce pressure on the banner

Step 6: Spread Your Message
Now that your banner is approved by the local government and safely & securely displayed over a roadway, your message can start to be delivered to passing motorists and pedestrians!

completed over the road  banner installation between two poles