The Los Angeles Metro system has gained support for its plan to install digital billboards throughout the city. The city’s planning commission unanimously recommended amending the zoning code that currently bans such billboards, allowing Metro to proceed with its proposal.
Metro plans to erect up to 49 billboard structures, featuring double-sided display screens, resulting in a total of 86 digital billboards. However, the commission recommended eliminating three of the double-sided structures, leaving 46 structures with a total of 80 billboard displays.
The planning department also recommended rejecting three proposed billboard structures, two of which would be built near the future state park “Bowtie” on the eastern bank of the L.A. River.
To address concerns about light pollution, the commission agreed to limit the digital billboard hours of operation from 5 a.m. to midnight. This way, intense lighting would not disrupt the night sky.
While some members of the commission expressed initial reservations about digital signs, they ultimately voted in favor due to the use of new technology to reduce brightness. The signs will not have any animation and will incorporate louvers to prevent light spread.
Metro’s Transportation Communication Network project, which includes the digital billboards, is expected to generate $1 billion in advertising revenue over the course of 30 years. Half of this revenue would be shared with the city. Additionally, the billboards would be used to broadcast emergency messages and real-time traffic updates to drivers.
As part of the agreement, Metro would remove over 200 older, traditional billboards from the city. The proposal has received both support and opposition. Opponents raise concerns about driver distraction and visual blight, while supporters argue that the billboards would create jobs, generate revenue for Metro, and provide valuable information to the public.
The proposed ordinance will now be reviewed the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee before potentially moving forward for a vote the full City Council.
Source: Daily Breeze, Torrance. Distributed Tribune Content Agency, LLC.