Let’s talk about this whole billboard shenanigan that seems to have the city in the throes of turmoil, much to PittGirl’s confusion.
1. Lamar wants to replace regular wallpapered billboards with some high-tech digital billboards.
2. Lots of people hate digital billboards and secretly wish the pigeons would leave the Birmingham Bridge alone and start working on bringing the LED billboards down.
3. Yesterday, just before the deadline from a moratorium imposed by City Council, Lamar placed applications to put up 42 LED signs throughout the city.
4. The rule is that for every LED sign Lamar puts up, they agree to take down five or six of their regular signs.
5. I haven’t read everything there is to read about this issue, but I think I’ve got the basic understanding right. Right?
Ok. Prepare yourselves. I’m not upset about this.
I absolutely HATE billboards of all kinds. In fact I make it a daily practice to give my finger and the evil eye to those new gargantuan billboards at the intersection of Routes 30 and 48 because I’m pretty sure even God is all, “Dang! Those are big!”
But if I have to choose between the old traditional wallpapered-on billboards that look extremely bad when the paper starts peeling off, sometimes left for months with half a Sheetz ad, a quarter of a Steidel and Steinberg ad, and a quarter of an “Are you driving a lemon?” ad, or the high-tech ever-changing clean digital billboards. My God, the digital billboards are the lesser of two evils.
I remember the first time I went to Toronto about eight years ago, and driving near the perimeter of the city, I was just amazed at all the digital signs and billboards. It gave the city a thriving, pulsing, vibrant feel, painted in ever-changing blues and reds and I remember thinking, why don’t we have these in Pittsburgh?
Do I think they should put a digital billboard right on Shiny Happy Cherry Tree Lined Drive in Big Brick Houses with Kids and Toys, PA? No.
Do I think if there’s a street with six gross old billboards, that they should take those down and put up one nice clean digital sign?
Well. Yeah, I do.
Yes, the Burgh is a working-class town borne out of industry and sweat and tears and the Steelers. Yes, the Burgh is about the regular man. Yes, the Burgh is awash in glorious history and rich architecture. But the Burgh is not The Acropolis. This is a metropolitan center that must learn to grow, to change, to accept the future and the changes it will bring while still holding fast to our history and how it has shaped us all into a friendly, hard-working, I’ll do anything for you kind of town.
LED billboards are not going to take that away from us.
The error of my ways? You know I listen to reason, especially from those that are more knowledgeable than me. I’m curious to hear where you think I’ve gone off the deep end here. But be nice or I’ll cry, yo.