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Nonprofit Rallies Opposition to Electronic Billboards

A local advocacy group is urging Pittsburghers to speak out against electronic billboards in the city. Scenic Pittsburgh wants city residents to contact their Council Member's office or sign a letter in support of a ban on additional electronic billboards in the city. Council will examine the matter Tuesday, September 27.

Of the city's 900 billboards, Scenic Pittsburgh Executive Director Mike Dawida said twelve are electronic, and he'd like to prevent the installation of any more. "They're increasingly a problem in terms of physical beauty. They are energy hogs. They are distractions for drivers," said Dawida. "There are many reasons why we're going to suggest that it's time to add no new electronic billboards to the city of Pittsburgh."

Dawida said it's not uncommon for cities and states to ban the electronic signs, adding that São Paulo, Brazil has even outlawed traditional billboards.

Dawida said that while Mayor Luke Ravenstahl seems to support electronic billboards, the council has traditionally opposed them. Dawida said he's confident his cause can gather enough council votes to override a mayoral veto of a ban on the electronic signs.