Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
|photo from Curbed LA Magazine|
Normally the molecule comes to life at night - but in our modern night skies full of the spillover of man-made lights - there is less and less of the benevolent molecule in the atmosphere.
The article mentions bright electronic billboards as contributors to light pollution and thus the reduction of the air-scrubbing molecule.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Scenic Minnesota has produced an excellent short film about "signs, icons and changing times" in the Land of Sinclair Lewis and the Original Main Street. Main Street Revisited is a must see. More Scenic Minnesota videos here.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Scenic Jacksonville is opposing Clear Channel's effort to replace eight traditional billboards with new digital ones despite a 1995 settlement agreement between the City and sign operators prohibiting new billboards. While the Federal Highway Administration allows digital billboards, it recognizes their nature is quite distinct from traditional billboards; that is why it does not allow them to replace nonconforming signs. However, Jacksonville's law department has reversed its common sense opinion from just last year that agreed that digital signs are new construction, and it now approves of Clear Channel's effort to introduce a new form of distraction and sign blight to Jacksonsville roadways.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Vibrant and aesthetically pleasing urban design are key Northwest values. Russell should find another way to brand itself. Seattle's skyline is gorgeous just the way it is.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
change every 6 to 8 seconds, to signs that show full-motion video right next to the roadway, the driving environment is becoming continually more cluttered with distractions.
"The best advice is keep your eyes on the road," the editors say, but that can be easier said than done when it comes to out-of-car distractions. The human eye is designed to notice movement, particularly in our peripheral vision, so a bright, changing screen may in fact be near possible to ignore. Of course, billboard companies know this and that's why they sell digital billboards to advertisers as something "people won't be able to take their eyes off."
Click here for the full article.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Council members of Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal borough have banned new billboards and ordered the removal of existing ones within one year. In response to this call for scenic improvements, the outdoor industry has promised a lenghty legal fight: "We won't stop, and we will get to the end and citizens will pay. That's for sure," says their attorney.
Don't count the borough impressed by the threat to raid the public treasury. City attorneys have given the okay to proceed and City Councilor Alex Norris remarked, "We're not going to be moved by such threats. We're here to represent the public interest and the public is solidly behind us on this initiative."
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
As city officials note, billboards outside city limits can still have negative impacts upon a community. Interestingly, Texas allows most cities to regulate billboards in adjacent unincorporated areas. In fact, 59 billboards erected illegally in Houston's "extra-jurisdictional" territory will be taken down under court order.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"City Councillor Maureen Feeney said that the billboard proposal would have a “devastating impact” on the neighborhood and the people who have tried for over 25 years to beautify it," reports the Dorchester Reporter.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
An amendment to the bill also would have allowed for trees and vegetation to be cut down around billboards throughout the state.
Thanks and congratulations go to the folks at Scenic Kentucky, whose hard work helped stop this bill in the Senate.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
USA Today covers the growing number of local governments enacting prohibitions and moratoria on digital billboards. Saint Louis, which just enacted a one year moratorium on digital signs, is featured.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Study of digital billboards needed (Detroit News)
Bossier City and Parish enact strict billboard regulations (Shreveport Times)
New billboards in Union Gap may no longer be permitted (Yakima Herald)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
As could be expected, the proposal is being met with opposition from neighborhood residents and preservationists in a city that has strict sign limits. Several condo owners in the building that would host the signage have started the website www.stopthebillboard.org.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
The issue arose when a council candidate issued a challenge for everyone to run environmentally clean campaigns and to not despoil the beauty of the city with election signs all across town. However, the challenged candidates were quick to point out hypocrisy as the candidate has paid $4,000 to put up a large billboard on a highway in a town where billboards are illegal except for a few remaining "grandfathered" signs.
Now, I must admit that having public rights-of-way overrun with campaign signs can be a bit annoying, but make no doubt about it: billboards are environmentally unfriendly. In fact, a typical highway-sized billboard is 672 sq. ft. and almost always the poster gets dumped in the land fill. Further, most billboards are lit at night, wasting energy and polluting the night sky.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Here in Sydney, majestic views of the Harbor Bridge, and towering office buildings are protected from the blight of towering billboards, eye-popping digital signage and giant commercial wallwraps. America has sadly failed in this regard and we need elected leaders who understand that beauty is an irreplaceable asset that is good for business. Change is inevitable. Ugliness is not.
Existing studies make clear that digital signs distract motorists eyes for demonstrably unsafe periods of time. Indeed, it is only common sense that these extremely bright and vivid signs which rotate ad copy as often as every six seconds violate the well-established "two-second" rule of motorist distraction.
Abby Dart of Scenic Michigan calls digitals billboards "weapons of mass distraction" and notes, "if you are distracted and looking at the billboard, then you are not looking at the road."
Many communities and some states already have prohibited digital billboards; enacting a moratorium should be a no-brainer for public officials who believe it is their job to protect the public based upon the best scientific evidence.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I arrived in Sydney on Wednesday morning after a 20 hour plane ride. Passing through the international date line, I realized that Monday disappeared forever. If one has to lose a day I decided that Monday is a good choice. I photographed my first sign in Sydney, located in the entrance way of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sydney is considered one of the most attractive cities on the earth, and I must agree.
More to come...
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Existing studies make it clear that digital signs are a distraction. As an exhaustive report conducted for the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials of prior studies concludes:
"Those [state and local officials] who think their job is to do what they can to enhance safety for the traveling public based upon the best available evidence now have, in our opinion, access to a strong and growing body of evidence, including evidence from industry funded research, that roadside digital advertising attract drivers' eyes away from the road for extended, demonstrably unsafe periods of time."
See more on digital distraction at Scenic America here.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
As city attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a prepared statement, "The days of lax and inconsistent enforcement of billboard and outdoor advertising laws in this city are over."
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The suit not only seeks the removal of the signs as well as damages and the disgorgement of profits made through the illegal activity. Crimal charges are also pending against some companies.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
But planners in Dyer County, Tennessee had to drop an effort to rezone a small portion of agricultural land in order to accommodate a billboard after learning from TDOT that such "spot zoning" is illegal and runs afoul of both the letter and spirit of the Highway Beautification Act, which only permits billboards in commercial or industrial areas.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Individual DOT's will set their own deadlines to review individual applications, but must forward applications to FHWA regional offices by April 16th. Visit www.bywaysonline.org/grants for more information.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Denver already has strict limits on digital signs and only allows a change in ad copy once every hour; as a result, there are only three digital billboards in the city. A moratorium to allow for the study of the safety affects and other issues should further ensure that the city remains vigilant against the threat of digital blight. Kudos to city officials for putting public safety and the concerns of Denver's residents ahead of Big Billboard.
Friday, February 19, 2010
The city has had such a ban since 1940, but has had a weak record on enforcement. The Court of Appeals ruled that spotty enforcement in the past does not preclude the city from enforcing the prohibition now. The court also rejected the argument by Clear Channel and other large billboard companies that New York violated the First Amendment by prohibiting highway billboards while allowing smaller signs elsewhere in the city.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The ruling means the signs are now operating without a valid permit and may lead to similar decisions against the other 90+ digital billboards in the city.
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times covers the victory for scenic advocates.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As one homeowner says, "Its here all the time. It's like a tv set on all the time." As for the decision of West St. Paul to allow the sign, another homeowner says, "I think it is a really crummy, disrespectful way to treat people you live so closely with."
After viewing the video, I think you'll agree that municipal officials who allow distracting digital signs to invade the quiet enjoyment of homeowners are indeed disrespectful.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Mayer notes the proposal would upend long-standing policy by Tucson that has successfully removed over 70 nonconforming billboards over the past 25 years.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Largo is among the thousands of communities in the country that do not allow new billboards.
The FHWA study is scheduled for release in April and will provide the most comprehensive research to date on the extent of motorist distraction caused by digital billboards. It will complement an exhaustive research review conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program for state transportation officials released last year that raises serious concerns about digital billboards and concluded that public officials have a growing and sound body of evidence that digital billboards pose a safety issue. A pdf of the report can be downloaded here.
More information on the safety issue and other problems of digital billboards can be found at this Scenic America resource page.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Aldermen withdraw billboard request; Park Ridge citizens victorious for now (Herald Advocate)
Digital billboards halt traffic as Moscow commuters distracted by X-rated porn (Geek.com)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
The workshop will include an up-to-date overview of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) plus presentations on exemplary CSS projects with case studies selected from over 90 submissions from across the country.
Friday, January 15, 2010
After being bombarded with complaints from Greenich Village residents of giant supergraphic signs on a gym located in a preservation district, New York City officials have ordered the removal of the illegal signs. Stiff fines will begin today if the ads are not removed. The New York Post has more.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Meanwhile, here is news story (with video) from Rock Hill, S.C. on a major street enhancement project that included a requirement that businesses replace large signs with a more appropriate 50 square foot limit.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
But the mayor is spot on that limited financial benefits that can be gained from allowing billboards is not worth the price of diminished community character. The mayor noted that Planning and Zoning voted unanimously against the proposal, and that the fees would do little for the city over the long run. Of course, as the legal wrangling in Los Angeles instructs, Park Ridge likely would be sued by other billboard companies trying to get in on the action if the proposal were approved.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Meanwhile, LA-based Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight hands out the First Annual Ban Billboard Blight Awards.