There’s a crackdown underway. A sting operation, if you will. The City of Charlottesville (and the County of Albemarle, other localities and the VDOT) are letting it be known that signs are not to be displayed in their rights-of-way.
See this letter from the City. This ordinance applies to Unrepresented Sellers as well.
Coincidentally, the Real Estate Bloggers noted a similar strategy being undertaken in their market, and The HooK had a great story in 2004 about the proliferation of real estate signs.
Believe it or not, signs are one of the most important part of a marketing strategy.