Since the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 began what might be termed "the battle of the billboard," expendable signs cluttering the nation's 43,000 miles of interstate roads have been removed at a fairly steady pace. Under the federal law, outdoor advertising devices could remain only in areas zoned as "commercial" or "industrial." Motels, restaurants and service stations were allowed to continue maintaining sometimes oversized on-premises signs, with no restrictions on the sign's distance from the highway. Such advertising was given the go-ahead by Section 131(o) of the Highway Beautification Act -- known as the "economic hardship section." However, several states (12 at last count) have taken the situation into their own hands and have amended the law in favor of the environmentalists. Recent reports from Iowa, Oregon and Virginia, for example, indicate that messages for motorists regarding public accommodations, commercial services and points of cultural, educational, historical, recreational, scenic and scientific interest are still allowed -- but with new restrictions.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00310620
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 22 1980 12:00AM