PRESS RELEASE: Scenic Los Angeles Urges City Hall to Demand An Independent Analysis of Impacts on the City Finances and Traffic Safety for Metro’s Transportation Communication Network (TCN)
May 29, 2024

Los Angeles, CA May 29, 2024 – Scenic Los Angeles, a local chapter of national nonprofit organization Scenic America, is calling on City Hall to require and undertake an independent analysis of both the financial and traffic safety impacts of Metro’s Transportation Communication Network (TCN) ordinance before any decision is made regarding its potential implementation.

The proposal is being sold as a financial boon to the City, but our own analysis and experience has shown that this is very unlikely.

From the outset, Scenic Los Angeles has advocated for transparency and accountability regarding the financial implications of the TCN proposal. The vague and unconfirmed projections provided by Metro and their partner Allvision raise serious concerns.

The lack of transparency around the deal’s structure and the potential revenue over the unprecedented 20-year contract demands scrutiny.

Los Angeles has been misled by over-optimistic figures from lobbyists before. The public deserves to know the real financial impact of these signs to ensure informed decisions are made. We cannot afford another fiasco like the JCDecaux Street Furniture debacle, and an audit and added guardrails could go a long way to prevent a future embarrassment.

Councilmember DeLeon’s recent motion submitted to the City’s Budget, Finance, and Innovation Committee (BFI) from CD14 raises a critical issue: will the revenue from these signs be shared evenly across all districts for public health, safety, and transportation programs, or will districts with more signs, like CD14, receive a disproportionate share? Before this discussion can proceed, the BFI Committee must see an actual revenue projection generated by these signs, backed up by tangible examples and actual precedent.

Additionally, Los Angeles County saw more traffic deaths than homicides in 2023, the first time this has happened in decades. Is it really in the city’s best interest to build dozens of distracting signs, further endangering motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike?

We call on the City’s Transportation Committee to take these signs seriously and understand the dangers they will create on our roadways in the face of escalating traffic deaths. If one Angeleno is injured or dies as a result of being distracted by one of these signs, the blood will be on their hands.

Our ongoing efforts have already mobilized nearly 1,100 letters to the BFI Committee, expressing strong opposition to the TCN. However, our fight does not end here.

Talking Points:

  1. Guaranteed Payment: Allvision claims the deal will generate $500 million+ for LA but has provided no details. We demand a guaranteed quarterly payment to the city starting at the program’s inception.
  2. Highway Buffer Zone: Digital billboards near highways are unsafe, as numerous global studies have shown. There should be a 2,000-ft buffer zone against building signs near highways and major intersections.
  3. Informed Decision-making: Both the BFI & Transportation Committees need to agree that an independent analysis of both the financial potential and traffic safety impacts this ordinance will have.

Scenic Los Angeles is urging the public, media, and the City of Los Angeles Transportation Committee to pressure the BFI Committee to conduct an independent financial analysis before deciding on revenue disbursement. The people of Los Angeles deserve transparency and a thorough explanation of the financial details surrounding this proposal.