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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

What's your sign?

This seems like a dumb ban to me:

Outdoor advertisers hoping to persuade Indianapolis to lift its decade-old ban on digital billboards say the time has come for the change, and they're hoping to find receptive ears on the city-county council.
  Clear Channel Outdoor wants to convert up to 30 of its 1,260 Marion County billboards to digital formats and is proposing an ordinance that would require companies to remove an equivalent amount of billboards for each sign that is changed, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.
 "You'd see a net reduction in the number of billboards in Marion County," said John Kisiel, Clear Channel's vice president of real estate and public affairs.
And agreeing to give up a regular billboard for each digital one put up? What kind of aggressive lobbying is that? I think it's hard to make the case that digital billboards are any more distracting (and thus more dangerous) than plain old billboards; they're certainly more noticeable, but don't your eyes have to linger longer to be able to read the regular billboards? And whether they're a bigger blot on the environment, blah, blah, blah, is a matter of aesthetic sensibilities.
I'm surprised every single sign in the world isn't digital by this point. Have you seen the poor schlubs who have to get out with the letters and their grabbers on long sticks to change the daily special on those restaurant signs? My first job was as an usher for the old Jefferson Theater, and let me tell you, few things are less appealing than standing on a rickety ladder in the middle of December to change the "current attraction" sign on the marquee.