[Durham INC] too many compelling reasons to oppose billboard industry's push to overturn ban -- response to Cree letter
bwatu at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 19 13:02:05 EST 2009
As expected, after several weeks of letters from across the community opposing electronic billboards near our homes, schools, parks and places of worship -- we finally see one saying we should just ignore all the compelling reasons to oppose industry's push to overturn Durham's ban on electronic billboards.
Just because some of the parts may be made in Durham, doesn't mean we should overturn our current ban on electronic billboards. This argument is a red herring meant to distract people -- just as digital billboards are designed to distract drivers.
Let's break it down...
* Cree is a good local company. We've already bought plenty of LED products in Durham, including traffic signal lights.
There are other public/civic initiatives that we could support -- putting all LED lights in schools and public buildings, tax incentives for LED lighting in new construction, exploring LED lights for outdoor lighting, etc. These ideas would benefit the Durham community, support Cree, help keep Cree employees working and spending locally, and put money back into the Durham economy.
* By contrast, Fairway is based in Georgia. So profits generated here in Durham would go to Georgia.
* Overturning Durham's ban on digital billboards wouldn't overcome the risk to Durham and Durham taxpayers. Federal law states that if Durham ever decided to remove billboards, Durham would have to reimburse the billboard company for the cost of the billboards -- and any FUTURE revenue the billboards would generate. That's a huge risk to impose on local government and Durham taxpayers.
* Overturning the ban on digital billboards would allow large screens that blink/flash new pictures every 7-8 seconds. Designed to distract, the new billboards would endanger public safety.
Imagine driving around a curve on a local highway -- in a rainstorm. Your view is dominated by big bright billboards -- all blinking new ads, reflecting off your windshield and the wet pavement in front of you.
* Cree makes a number of products that can make our lives better -- solid state lighting for homes and commercial uses, video lighting, traffic signals, etc.
But Durham should not subsidize the one product that makes our lives worse, while consuming enormous amounts of energy, raising safety issues for drivers, and putting Durham taxpayers at risk.
There are too many compelling reasons to oppose the billboard industry's push to overturn Durham ban on electronic billboards.
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