Posts Tagged billboards

It’s not just about Legacy

headofrocks2_z3Our legislators seem to think that objections to HB272 only extended to billboards along Legacy Parkway, but all other scenic routes in the state are just fine for ugly outdoor advertising. It just makes sense doesn’t it? Take Highway 12, for example, you could really prettify the breathtaking Hogsback with a couple a signs advertising, say, a lawyer and maybe a furniture store.

Provo Rep. Christopher Herrod said HB272, which has cleared the House, is not a “billboard-proliferation bill,” but protects city and property-owner rights “taken away by the byway committees.”

But those championing scenic byways have been left wondering why one highway should be treated differently than Utah’s 25 other scenic routes.

“I’m not sure why, except they caught a lot of heat over Legacy,” said Gary Uresk, who chairs the committee seeking federal byway status for Legacy Parkway.

He and others say much of the new language to HB272 would still have negative implications to Utah’s 25 other scenic byways.

The bill no longer automatically divides byways into “scenic” and “non-scenic” sections. Instead, it allows cities and counties to request that segmentation. [snip]

His bill, now before the Senate, would replace travel and tourism officials on the state’s byways committee with legislators and an outdoor advertiser (emphasis mine).

I wonder who dreamed up that great idea. Can you say Reagan Outdoor Advertising? Big donor to election funds of 66 Utah legislators, and who just happens to want to put up a sign on a scenic byway near Vernal. But while we’re at it, let’s open up all 25 scenic routes. That’s what you call getting real bang for your buck.

UPDATE: I posted the following in the comments here, but thought it needed to be in the main post:

What would be enough money? Well, it not as much for state office holders as you might think:

Disclosures also reveal the biggest contributors overall for all state races combined. They were: Reagan Outdoor Advertising, $66,788; EnergySolutions, $62,210; I-Works, $55,000; 1-800-CONTACTS, $49,750; Comcast, $48,150; Parents for Choice in Education, $47,473; and Bruce Bastian (a co-founder of WordPerfect and a gay-rights activist), $46,850.

Huh, Reagan is the #1 donor. There’s a surprise.

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Billboards on Legacy Parkway?

Utah has some incredible scenic byways, my favorite being Hwy 12 from Torrey to Bryce Canyon (if you’ve never driven that route, promise yourself to do it this year). Driving Legacy Parkway is a pleasure because of the lack of advertising and sound walls — the unimpeded views of the mountains.

If lawmakers and their friends in business tell you not to worry, that they have no plans to do something, even though a new law would allow them to do it, go ahead and laugh — and look for the crossed fingers behind their backs.

House Bill 272 gives the state control to designate byways, removing the power from local governments. Some leaders in the county fear the bill may ultimately lead to billboard signs ending up next to the parkway. That may be enough cause to lose the byway status. [snip] Read the rest of this entry »

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