November 3 Marks the 24th Anniversary of the State’s Ban on Billboards
On November 3, 1998, Alaskan voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to formally ban billboards throughout the state. The Alaska Prohibition of Billboards Initiative, also known as Measure 5, decreed that “Alaska shall forever remain free of billboards.”
With the passage of the law, Alaska joined Hawaii, Vermont, and Maine to become the fourth state to formally ban billboards.
The 1998 law was not the first anti-billboard legislation to be enacted in Alaska. The territorial legislature signed a ban on all roadside advertising in 1949, prior to Alaska becoming the 49th state a decade later in 1959.
As the new law reads, “The people of the State of Alaska find that the presence of billboards visible from Alaska’s highways endangers Alaska’s uniqueness and its scenic beauty.”
Alaska’s unspoiled scenic beauty is a key driver for tourism, one of the state’s most important economic engines. In 2019, Alaska welcomed 2.25 million visitors who spent $2.2 billion, driving $4.5 billion in economic activity and supporting 52,000 jobs. The state is home to five national scenic byways and 10 state scenic byways; two of its national scenic byways, the Alaska Marine Highway and the Seward Highway, are designated as All-American Roads, the gold standard of national scenic byways.