Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michigan House of Representatives mulls moratorium for roadside Television on a Stick

OK, so maybe this billboard's not in Michigan. So what?

Legislation to put, effectively, a one-year moratorium on the construction of brightly lit digital billboards in Michigan has cleared a State House of Representatives committee, but is stalled on the House floor as supporters try to rally the 56 votes needed for passage.
In the meantime, the City of Walker – outside of Grand Rapids – has chosen a prudent course. They’ve put their own six month halt on the monstrosities to try and get out from under an avalanche of industry requests for digitals. Industry wants to get the requests in under the wire in case the legislation goes through.
More cities are banning or slowing the spread of the digital distractions.
If I had my way, we’d go the route of Maine, Hawaii and some other state I can’t remember that have banned billboards altogether.

That idea raises the hackles of lobbyists for out-of-state billboard companies who are crawling all over the State Capitol in Lansing as we speak to ensure Michigan’s legislation dies.

It also raises the hackles of well-meaning libertarians and right wingers and others who see a ban as an infringement on the rights of billboard companies and advertisers. I could make some very reasonable, well thought out arguments why our rights to see the landscape should trump their right to clutter it up. But I don’t feel like being reasonable.

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