Billboard Issues in the Delaware County Suburbs


Litter on the Ground and Litter in the Sky? Is this what the future holds for Pennsylvania?

"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment"
Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

What can be done to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural beauty of Pennsylvania’s Roadscape? Both litter control and control of outdoor advertising can make a difference in the visual quality of our communities and our countryside. We have a right to the preservation of our natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values within our communities, but without citizen action, those values can be eroded away.

What is the problem With Outdoor Advertising?
Billboards can be unnatural intrusions on our scenic landscapes, roadways and neighborhoods. Their
placement should not detract from our communities’ beauty and character..
Billboards don't belong everywhere. Without controls, billboards and signs can proliferate and lead to visual
pollution and clutter.
Lack of strong sign control can create sign competition. Local business signs risk becoming lost in the clutter
of the street as oversized billboards compete for your attention.
Improperly placed, outdoor advertising can be another one of many increasing distractions to drivers, when
most safety experts agree that driving distractions should be minimized.

Above: Sign clutter is bad for local businesses.

Above: Sign clutter is bad for drivers.

“More than any country, ours is an automobile society ….by making our roads highways to the enjoyment of nature and beauty we can greatly enrich the life of nearly all our people in city and countryside alike.” - President Lyndon Johnson, 1965 Special Message to Congress on Conservation and Restoration of Natural Beauty

How Are Billboards Controlled?
In 1939, community groups throughout Pennsylvania joined into a Pennsylvania Roadside Council to help control the proliferation of billboards, signs, litter, junkyards and other features that were springing up and destroying the beauty of Pennsylvania’s roadsides. In 1971 Pennsylvania's Outdoor Advertising Control Act (Act No. 160) was passed to place modest controls on billboards and other outdoor advertisements along primary highways. But for 75% of Pennsylvania's roadways, controls for billboards are set by your local municipality.

"Communities should be planned with an eye to the effect on the human spirit of being continually surrounded by a maximum of beauty." - Thomas Jefferson

Communities often struggle with the question of which type of sign control is best. It is not an easy task in any community to enhance the public space and protect the visual environment while still providing for growth and a thriving business environment

Is There A Solution?

Communities throughout Pennsylvania are working on this issue. Do you know if your community has the best sign controls possible? Are there billboards that are obtrusive or improperly sized and placed in the community? How do you prevent new billboards from going up, and how can you get illegal or nonconforming billboards down? Pennsylvania Resources Council can help you find the answers to your questions. PRC has worked on billboard and roadside litter control for over 60 years. Together we can help preserve and enhance the appearance of our communities’ public roadways

Learn about billboards and billboard law with our manual
Find out if signs in your community are legal
Set up a workshop on sign control in your area
Reduce or remove billboards in your community
Strengthen your local sign control laws
Be part of the roadscape beautification solution by supporting Responsible Corporate Advertising.

Are your local sign ordinances ready to handle high tech advertising.
For more information call
Carol Butler at (610) 353-1555 ext. 230

Above: Improperly placed signs can overwhelm historic or scenic cityscapes.

Guidelines for Responsible Corporate Outdoor Advertising
Some people find billboards useful, some people hate them, and other people have concerns about billboard placement in their communities. In Pennsylvania, some municipalities are struggling with the issues of illegal and/or nonconforming billboards in the community.

We urge advertisers to be aware of the issues of illegal and nonconforming advertising signs and urge them to support community efforts to control the visual blight and clutter than can result from poor placement of outdoor advertising.

Although it is true that the majority of municipalities in Pennsylvania have strong billboard controls and enforcement, that may not be the case in all municipalities. By always requesting billboard permit information in your advertising contracts, you can help protect your brand image from public criticism and assist municipalities in enforcing control of outdoor advertising.

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