Most Recent Articles

High Country News investigates billboards vs. democracy

A major investigation into the systemic use of money and power by the billboard industry to subvert democracy is the cover story on the new issue of High Country News.  Senior Editor Ray Ring’s article looks at how billboard companies entrench themselves in city halls and state houses and endear themselves to some politicians with…

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Did feds botch digital billboard safety study?

It has been over two years since the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) finished a study aimed at determining whether digital billboards are distracting to drivers.  And yet, the results of the study are still unknown, FHWA having said only that the results are still under internal review. A recent investigative report by Fair Warning may…

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Rhode Island releases design guide for highway beautification practices

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Michael Lewis, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, recently announced the release a new publication, “Rhode Island Highways-Best Practices Design Guide,” which establishes new beautification standards for design and management of infrastructure and buffer areas. Click here to download the Design Guide (PDF). The guide is user-friendly and…

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Senate Committee Moves to Revive Scenic Byways Program

A key Senate committee has moved to reinvigorate the National Scenic Byways Program. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) has voted in favor of S. 349, the “Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019,” sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). The bill now moves on to the…

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Scenic America recognizes beautification efforts in Rhode Island

Awards were given to two Rhode Island-based organizations in recognition of their efforts to beautify area landscapes during a recent meeting of Scenic America’s Board and Affiliates at Bellevue House in Newport, home of the group’s Chairman Ronald Lee Fleming. The first award recognized the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition for securing more than $800,000 in federal…

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Meet Ralph Becker: a public advocate for America the Beautiful

By Makenna Sievertson, Scenic America intern Ralph Becker knows the political workings of billboard companies all too well. Over nearly thirty years, first as a member of the Salt Lake City planning commission, then in the Utah legislature, and finally as Salt Lake City mayor, Becker was an outspoken opponent of billboard blight. His views…

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Scenic America remembers Marion Fuller Brown

Scenic America is remembering one of our founders, Marion Fuller Brown, who passed away recently at the age of 94, at her beloved home on Ram’s Head Farm in York, Maine. Brown was the driving force behind the passage of a 1977 law that led to the elimination of billboards in Maine.  The last billboard…

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Lawmakers move to revive National Scenic Byways Program

America’s scenic roadways got a major boost in Congress on February 6 as the House of Representatives passed a bill to restart the dormant National Scenic Byways Program, while companion legislation was introduced in the Senate. “We are thrilled with Congress’ support for scenic byways,” said Mark Falzone, president of Scenic America. “The National Scenic…

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New sign ordinance in Knoxville, TN will mean a more scenic city

The city of Knoxville, Tenn. has passed a new ordinance for regulating on-premise signs that will result in a much more scenic city in coming years.  The new rules are the result of four years of work and negotiations between city, community and business leaders, the sign industry and local scenic supporters led by Scenic…

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Scenic America reviews Reed v. Gilbert’s impact on billboard regulation

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Reed v. Gilbert, Scenic America has received numerous inquiries from citizens, community organizations and public officials concerned about the ruling’s potential impacts on billboard regulation. In response, Scenic America’s volunteer legal committee has produced a report on Reed’s implications for billboard regulation. The upshot is…

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