Get a Billboard Taken Down (or at Least Complain About One) Get a Billboard Taken Down (or at Least Complain About One)
Get a Billboard Taken Down (or at Least Complain About One)
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Get the facts
Find a copy of your local sign ordinance and familiarize yourself with the laws controlling billboards in your area. You may find that some of your local billboards are already illegal. If that’s the case, take pictures, go to the regulating agency, and make your case.
Team up with a group that cares about your issue
Find a neighborhood association, environmental preservation group, or local architects’ association. As a group, lobby your state or local government to ban the construction of new billboards.
Encourage the entity that regulates billboards to negotiate with outdoor advertising companies. Suggest that companies be required to take down a certain number of old billboards on secondary roads before being allowed to put up a new one on a main road, or remove 10 traditional billboards for each new digital billboard installed.
Buy ’em out
The federal government makes “Transportation Enhancements” funds available for highway projects, including the purchase of billboards in order to remove them permanently. Local governments may apply for funds in partnership with nonprofit or community groups. See enhancements.org for details.
Embrace a challenge
Getting rid of billboards can be difficult. “The outdoor advertising industry is well organized and experienced in fighting regulation on every level,” says McMahon. But groups like SCRUB in Philadelphia and Scenic Texas have won significant victories in their areas—proof positive that success is possible.This article first appeared in The GOOD Guide to Better Neighborhoods. You can read more of the guide here, or you can read more of the GOOD Neighborhoods Issue here.
Illustration by Trevor Burks.
Illustration by Trevor Burks.
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