A proposal by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install nearly 100 new digital billboards is being challenged by the national nonprofit Scenic America and their Los Angeles chapter, Scenic Los Angeles, saying that the billboards could have multiple negative effects on the city’s neighborhoods.
The 30-to-48-foot-wide signs will mostly display advertisements, but one of the eight planned rotating images displayed on the billboard will feature traffic information, such as road closures and delays.
The revenue generated from the remaining seven advertising images would be split between Metro and the city.
Many of the proposed billboards would be constructed on dozens of streets and freeways all over the city, from the San Fernando Valley to Elysian Park to the Ballona Wetlands, according to the L.A. Times.
Some of the drawbacks outlined by Scenic America include the billboards posing a danger to drivers and creating more light pollution in the areas surrounding the billboard.
“As a local organization dedicated to preserving the scenic beauty of Los Angeles, we believe that these billboards will not only be a distraction to drivers but will also take away from the natural beauty of our city,” said Patrick Frank, president of Scenic Los Angeles. “We urge the L.A. City Council to consider the potential negative impacts of these billboards on our community.”
Other potential concerns raised by Scenic America and Scenic Los Angeles include environmental harm, addition of more clutter to city streets and reduction of property values.
Proponents of the billboards say the potential benefits include massive revenue generation, reduction of the total number of signs on Metro properties and real-time traffic updates helping to smoothen out travel throughout the city.
The proposed digital billboards are still subject to review and approval by the L.A. City Council.