Billboard Updates: Scenic in Cape May and Northern California, Mixed News in Connecticut

Billboard issues came to a head in communities across the country this month, resulting for wins for scenic conservation advocates in Cape May, NJ, and Eureka, CA, and mixed results in Connecticut. Earlier this month, Cape May, NJ, officials rejected two separate applications for digital billboards on roads leading to popular resort destinations. In considering…

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Toronto City Council Approves ‘Super-Sized’ Billboards Despite Public Opposition

Think billboard blight is just a problem in America? Think again. More, and bigger, billboards are coming soon to Canada’s largest city, as the Toronto City Council approved a request to install “super-sized” digital billboards on various corridors in the city. Measuring nearly 700 square feet, these monstrous signs exceed the city’s current signage size…

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What is Light Pollution?

At 4:31 am on January 17, 1994, residents of Los Angeles were shaken by two things: the Northridge earthquake, and strange lights that appeared in the sky. Otherworldly and ethereal, these lights alarmed people enough to call their local emergency services to report a “giant silvery cloud” hovering above the city. Was it some kind…

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Scenic America Stops Billboard Amendment from Advancing in House

Scenic America continues its diligence in protecting the nation’s safety and beautification efforts by working quickly to ensure that an amendment filed on H.R. 8294, the six-bill appropriations minibus, was stopped. The amendment would have kept the Federal Highway Administration from enforcing the Highway Beautification Act (HBA) by cutting off all funding to implement the…

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Billboard-free States Rank Tops in Traffic Safety for Summer Road Trips

A study released June 22 by WalletHub ranks all 50 states by their road trip appeal, considering factors such as gas prices, the number of activities (including scenic byways), and traffic safety. While New York and Minnesota ranked at the top of the list when considering all factors, two billboard-free states, Maine and Vermont, led…

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Traffic Study Shows Increase in Fatalities in 2021, Underscores Need for Safer Roadways

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released sobering statistics on May 17, projecting a 10.5% increase in traffic fatalities in 2021 over 2020. The agency estimated that 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, compared to 38,824 in 2020. This represents the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual…

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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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