Comment of the Day: What Keeps Houston Billboards Standing Tall

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT KEEPS HOUSTON BILLBOARDS STANDING TALL Freeway Billboards“If you only knew how much the city has gone through to reduce billboards. Their billboard ordinance was pioneering. Existing billboards in the city are under an abatement condition – if you take one down, you can’t replace it. However, many billboards are highly, highly profitable, and the industry has a formidable lobby to defend what they already have, and try to reinstate the ability to add billboards where they’ve been banned or removed. From a property rights perspective, sign regulation is already an iffy business. So while yes, most of us would like to see further reduction in billboards, please try to appreciate what’s already been done.” [Local Planner, commenting on City Inspector: Those Who Want You To Live In The Glass House Should Not Post 130-Ft. SignsIllustration: Lulu

12 Comment

  • I base all my life decisions on the possibilities displayed on billboards. What to watch; where to eat; what to listen to; what to buy. Billboards make my life possible.

  • Young whippersnappers don’t remember the days when Houston used to really suck.

  • Trees…more trees. When the city started planting in front of billboard eyesores several years ago it was a revelation. A cluster of loblolly pines can render a billboard almost invisible. The city has the right to do what it wants on right-of-ways and I repeat…trees…more trees.

  • I actually think we need more billboards. The State of Texas should regulate and tax them. Scenic routes could be defined where they’re banned. The tax revenue could be earmarked to support our State Parks (desperately needed).

  • The sign situation is so much better than in decades ago. It still needs a lot of work – removing signs! – but things are better.

  • Sadly, the Texas legislature is already preparing to roll back all city and county ordinances that are more stringent than state law. So while our legislature constantly complains about federal overreach into Texas affairs, our legislature is hell bent on overreaching into local affairs. The next Texas legislative session will be a sad one for cities and counties in Texas.

  • I remember the days of yore when there were hundreds (literally hundreds) of billboards lining the freeways. It wasn’t all that horrible. It’s not as if there is anything scenic to look at driving from downtown to The Woodlands or Clear Lake or Katy or Sugarland or wherever people go due East anyway.
    The freeways run level with the businesses on the side of the freeways so you are just bombarded with their signage anyway.
    Why not have your commute be an amusement park of well thought out, artistic, neon or fiber optic lighted advertising? It’s no more distracting than texting. It would at least be something fun and interesting in Dullsville.

  • I miss the billboards of my youth. I grew up in a world where the freeways were surrounded by them, and never thought much about it. Now that they are almost all gone I realize they gave the city character. I don’t understand the hate for them.

  • “Sadly, the Texas legislature is already preparing to roll back all city and county ordinances that are more stringent than state law.”
    {{Citation Needed}}

  • Umm…I must be missing something….a lot of comments about how they should be regulated and taxed.

    If you look closely, you will see a permit number in the bottom corner of any billboard in Houston, along with the logo of the company that owns it. I thought these permits were issued by TXDOT, and I would assume with the permit comes a fee. Is that not already the case?

  • Billboards along federally funded highways are protected by the Lady Bird Johnson Highway Beautification Act. Apparently, some congressman inserted a rider at the last minute that provided this protection. Go figure!!

  • I grew up in New England near the first limited access highway in America. It’s a tree lined parkway and when I last visited and drove in it, it was stunning realize how nice it was to drive through lush greenery and under overpasses with intricate stonework (a legacy of WPA projects to employ skilled workers).

    Being in a beautiful environment is worth something.