This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
All over America, cities and even some states (see box) have banned digital billboards due to concerns about driver distractions and nighttime light pollution.
Yet they’ll be coming to Tacoma streets in the near future in an agreement the city struck last summer with Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns almost all the traditional billboards scattered throughout the city.
It’s easy to see what Clear Channel gets out of the agreement that would end its lawsuit against the city’s admirable effort to reduce the number of billboards. Clear Channel will be able to replace its somewhat profitable regular billboards with a lesser number of enormously profitable digital signs. The settlement was approved last summer by the City Council in a hurry-up fashion that kept the public and media out of the loop. Read more »