Digital Billboards? Neighbors Say “No.”

In mid-December, the City Council Committee on Ordinances held a public hearing regarding a proposed change to our zoning ordinance. The proposed amendment would permit highway billboards within the city of Providence to be converted to digital screens. Several residents spoke against the request. “Big advertisers keeps upping the ante,” commented one Fox Point neighbor, who described the escalating efforts of advertisers over the last several decades to grab the attention of passersby—first with large-scale traditional billboards, then with live screens, and now with hyper-illumination and rapidly changing messages. The greater the distraction, this neighbor argued, the further these screen

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