Project for Public Spaces has highlighted an excellent article in the Planning Commissioners Journal (PCJ) by Ed McMahon, who is a Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. Ed is a nationally renowned authority and speaker on sustainable development, land conservation, and urban design.
In his PCJ article, McMahon argues that billboards are not only unsightly, but damage community character. He also responds to arguments commonly heard in favor of allowing billboards.
McMahon claims that “in a relatively short time, outdoor advertising has gone from from small and folksy to huge and intrusive. We have now entered the era of digital billboards – huge outdoor TV screens wasting energy while degrading the landscape and distracting drivers.”
On a recent drive from Portland to Seattle, I observed the size and attention-grabbing techniques of some of these mega-sized digital billboards. I would add that they may also be a tad more distracting and dangerous for motorists than the passive displays of a few years ago. I think in some cases they are also reshaping the identities of the communities that have these displays along their corridors. I’m with Vermont, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii all of which have banned billboards.
I don’t hate commercialism, I just prefer nature and attractive communities a whole lot more.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Billboard - Flickr photo by Awecelia
Produced by: Total Destination Marketing
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