Interstate I-70 and its Billboard Problem

Interstate 70, which traverses 250 miles from St Louis to Kansas City, is often called the “Main Street of Missouri”. It is part of a 2200-mile interstate route that has a significant footprint in nine states. But I-70 in Missouri has a special characteristic—it has more billboards per mile than any other state along the…

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How legal precedent in the City of St Louis figured into the Austin v. Reagan Supreme Court decision

With the April 21 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the City of Austin over Reagan National Advertising affirming the constitutionality of the longstanding distinction between content displayed on signs that are located on-premises and off-premises, it is fascinating to note how a 1919 opinion by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in a St. Louis…

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Research Shows that Digital Traffic Safety Messages Contribute to Highway Accidents and Fatalities

A new study suggests that digital highway signs that are designed to encourage safe driving contribute to an increase in nearby traffic accidents. The study, published in April 2022 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on science.org, looked at several years of data from Texas to find that the number of vehicle…

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Supreme Court Sides with City of Austin over Reagan National Advertising in First Amendment Case

On April 21, in a victory for scenic beauty, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the City of Austin over Reagan National Advertising, affirming the constitutionality of the longstanding distinction between content displayed on signs that are located on-premises and off-premises. With this ruling, the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the…

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Visual Pollution and the Preservation of Aesthetic Places

Aesthetics has become a widely-used concept nowadays, from your “Instagram aesthetic” to your personal fashion aesthetic. But America’s most alluring places have aesthetics of their own—beauty that is being threatened by visual pollution. Here’s a look at the meaning of aesthetics and the ways in which visual pollution can erode it. What Does ‘Aesthetic’ Mean?…

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Missouri billboards
Billboard Update: March 2022

Victories, Setbacks, Plus New and Ongoing Concerns February brought new developments, both positive and negative, on important billboard and signage issues in Houston, San Jose, Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Ohio. Victory in Houston In a win for the scenic community, on February 16 the Houston City Council voted unanimously to suspend all types of sign permits…

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Billboard Bills to Watch

Scenic America is currently tracking bad billboard legislation in places such as Missouri, West Virginia, and Providence, Rhode Island. Missouri House Bill 1115 This legislation currently under consideration modifies the existing language of a statute related to outdoor advertising to the benefit of billboard companies. If passed, it would revoke the authority of a city…

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Are We Stuck with the Mt Washington Billboard?

Scenic Pittsburgh Executive Director Michael Dawida Offers Two Ways Forward Mt Washington: On Wednesday, January 20, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against the City of Pittsburgh in its long-running suit against the 4,500 square foot billboard on Mt Washington. The billboard, owned by the Lamar Advertising Company, had been cited by the City in 2016…

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Scenic Utah Wages Fight on Drastic Billboard Laws

Utah may be known for its majestic scenery and stunning landscapes, but if state legislators get their way, the Beehive State may soon be known for one of the most damaging billboard laws in the nation. On January 19, 2021, Sen. Scott Sandall introduced SB61, allowing any billboard owner in Utah to upgrade their billboards…

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Arapahoe County Adopts Ban on New Billboards

Good news from Scenic Colorado: On January 5, Arapahoe County Commissioners unanimously adopted an amended sign code that prohibits any new billboards and conversion of static to electronic billboards.   Arapahoe County serves a substantial portion of the southeast Denver metropolitan area.  While the incorporated areas of the county generally prohibit billboards already, the newly passed…

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