So, this was going to be part of my upcoming NUR Review. However, the ridiculousness of it got the best of me and I had to awaken from my post slumber to opine. I was angered in February when the House passed HB179 that will expand the area around signs in which billboard companies would be able to remove trees (some limitations exist). This bill has been quite controversial and has been pushed by the outdoor advertising lobby for years now. Fortunately, up until now, the bill hasn’t had much success. But, just like bad hangovers, bad bills never seem to go away.
This one resurfaced and somehow did pass. The City of Roswell took notice and in the March 30, 2011 city council meeting, the council voted to oppose the bill and formally request that Gov. Deal veto the bill. Several other municipalities joined the fight including Sandy Springs, Woodstock and Athens-Clark County. This quote from Roswell’s mayor Jere Wood sums it up well:
We have always taken the position that trees are much nicer than billboards, That’s an easy one for most of us; if you’re not receiving money from the lobbyists.
Even with this opposition, the past history of vocal opposition for more than a decade, Mr. Deal decided in the interest of the billboard lobby and signed this POS into law tonight.
I’m obviously not happy about this and I’m going to guess that most people who are aware of the bill aren't either. Below I’ve put together a list of questions I have:
- How much of a company’s business can actually be attributed to a billboard advertisement? I’m sure some interstate fast food restaurants get some business from billboards.
- If that percentage is significant, how are they getting any business now with trees everywhere?
- Does anyone really have any problem seeing billboards? Really?
- Do you feel like your life is any worse off because you missed a billboard?
- Do you have any billboards that you absolutely love? In this weird way, I miss the So So Def Records billboard. That forty foot afro welcoming me back to the ATL every time I came back into town was.. well it just made me feel at home.
- How would you feel if a tree blocked your favorite billboard?
- Why do our politicians and our billboard companies think we need to be distracted further from our driving activities?
- Seriously, driving is the single most dangerous activity that a the average American partakes in. Do we need more distractions? Do we?
- Can Roswell ban billboards? If so, I'll support that bill.