Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: digital billboards

July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Digital signs would destroy Tacoma’s ‘green’ efforts

Tacoma residents, civic groups and leaders as well as city’s newspapers have overwhelmingly opposed digital billboards from being forced into Tacoma as they are blightful and distracting to drivers and wisely banned in many cities such as Bellingham and Seattle.

Tacoma residents are continuously urged by the City of Tacoma to reduce energy use by replacing their lights with fluorescent bulbs, using less hot water, funding multimillion-dollar platinum-rated “green” buildings and to even having their garbage collected half as often. However, a different standard altogether appears to apply to billboard companies.

According to the U.S. Green Buildings Council, each digital

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July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Digital signs provide no benefits

Most of us have a high tolerance for advertising because it typically subsidizes our costs to access and acquire information. Benefit accrues to consumers when we read a newspaper, a blog or watch a television program: We get content at a lower cost because of the advertising revenue which accrues to the publisher.

Publishers, like this newspaper, employ people and help pay the bills with that revenue. Consumers can choose what content to access and acquire.

No such benefits accrue to the consumers of outdoor advertising. As we travel city streets and sidewalks constructed with taxpayer dollars, billboards loom in

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July
25th

BILLBOARDS: Why oppose digital signs?

The Top 10 reasons not to support electronic billboards:

1. Peeling billboards better reflect Tacoma’s peeling image.

2. Tons of old billboard paper will fill unsightly landfills quicker.

3. No one cares about Tacoma being a “wired city” anymore.

4. We’re rather fond of the 178 billboards Clear Channel agreed to remove.

5. Wrap-around bus ads are more attractive and less distracting.

6. Nonprofit agencies should buy more expensive TV ads instead.

7. Nobody really cares about supporting local businesses.

8. People might think they’re drive-in movie theaters, creating parking hazards.

9. They will distract from electronic signs already being

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July
21st

BILLBOARDS: Limits OK, but ban is too risky

I do not believe an outright ban on digital billboards in Tacoma is appropriate. We can’t simply “ban” technology. We can’t ban the use of the Internet. We can’t ban the use of cell phones. Furthermore, we can’t ban digital advertising; it is already here.

This whole discussion just appears backwards to me. Appropriate regulation for zoning, size, light intensity and image-rotation time will all limit the adverse effects of signage that have been brought up in public comment. Overreaching on a ban, when there are less restrictive options, is inappropriate and almost certain to land the city in court.

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July
20th

BILLBOARDS: There is value in beauty

The real problem with billboards is that they are currently obstructing one of Tacoma’s most valuable assets: our skyline.

At a time when Tacoma is looking to boost economic growth, we should leverage everything we can to draw investment. Our skyline, our water and mountain views, the beauty of our trees and our architecture are worth money. They draw talented people to the city. That draws businesses looking for talented employees. They even inspire people to innovate ways of doing business, just to be able to live in a place like this.

Clear Channel Outdoor is not currently helping Tacoma

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June
20th

TACOMA: Ban all digital billboards

Tacoma is poised at a crossroads in its renaissance and economic development. Will Tacoma soar with its unique vistas of Mount Rainier and charming, sometimes quirky historic architecture? Or will Tacoma be marred with urban blight from digital billboards?

The decision that the City Council will be making to ban or allow digital billboards will affect Tacoma for years. If Clear Channel Outdoors, a nonlocal sign company, has its way digital billboards will denigrate Tacoma’s beauty and reverse its economic progress.

I urge the mayor and the City Council to listen to the people who elected them. Digital billboards are

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March
22nd

BILLBOARDS: Council should reconsider decision

I moved to Tacoma three years ago from sunny Southern California. Although I had heard that Tacoma was the “armpit of Seattle,” I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful city with history and culture. I was pleased to hear of the efforts to improve areas such as Hilltop where my daughter currently resides.

Then I heard of the proposed electronic billboards that were unanimously approved by our City Council and was horrified. I thought the goal was to make Tacoma more beautiful, not to add to the blight of billboards that already exist here.

Many cities, including Denver, have

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March
22nd

BILLBOARDS: City needs to fight for its citizens

The advocating for Clear √áhannel’s billboards by a City of Tacoma attorney sounds all too familiar. So does the reason for approval: fear of a lawsuit.

About a year ago, the city refused to enforce their zoning against Chabad of Pierce County in its effort to build a large synagogue on a tiny residential lot in the West End. The rationale? The city didn’t want to fight a lawsuit.

At some point, Tacoma officials need to stop worrying about lawsuits and need to start doing the right thing. Yes, even if that means being the masthead against zoning violations and

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