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  Richmond Residents Overwhelmingly Reject LED Billboards
March 11, 2014

So far, I have received 98 responses to my invitation to weigh in on LED billboards in Richmond (LED Billboards Coming to Richmond Highways and Byways?, March 10, 2014). Eighty-seven persons are opposed, and nine persons support, most with conditions.

The biggest pitch is being made by some Hilltop businesses who claim that a giant LED sign is necessary to the success of their businesses. Maybe it is, but Hilltop has deeper troubles that may be beyond the help a sign can provide. Note that several of those supporting LED signs limited their support to a Hilltop sign.

The most interesting thing is how Richmond’s first LED sign at Pacific East Mall got approved in 2009. When it was “approved,” the Richmond Sign Ordinance allowed such signs (it doesn’t now) but only if the following took place:

  1. Review by the DRO (Former name of the Design Review Board).
  2. Drawings and graphics that clearly illustrate the location, size and height of the proposed sign.
  3. A public hearing.
  4. Notification of property owners within 300 feet.
  5. Notice to appropriate neighborhood council and business association.
  6. Lot of 10 acres or more.


Pacific East Mall
EC Digital sign

Although the 2009 application described the sign as a “Full Color LED Display,” there was no public hearing, no notification of neighbors and neighborhood councils and no action by the DRO (Design Review Organization). It seems that a City Council member, a former Planning staff member and a former building official collaborated to sign off without the required public review. Now, staff claims it is simply “water under bridge.”

You can by an ad on the sign for $6,000 a month. See http://www.digitronmedia.com/Freeway-jumbo-el-cerrito.pdf.

El Cerrito digital sign - Hwy I-80 at Pacific East Mall - north face

There is a well-organized group fighting LED billboards in the Bay Area, sceniceastbay.org, that has lots of resources. There is also a national organization, www.scenic.org.

Following are the responses I got, minus the names, except for the first one came from Jim Rogers. Yellow highlighted comments are pro-LED.

Jim Rogers: As the Author of the end Billboard Blight initiative in 1991 and the author of the recent ban on alcohol billboards, you are preaching to the converted. However, what if permitting one LED at Hilltop, seen mainly by commuters whizzing by, would let us do a trade to get rid of 10 billboards on our City streets? 20? 30? An LED at Hilltop can actually provide some useful info, e.g. helping revitalize Hilltop Mall by advertising  retail opportunities for the commuters. The  regular billboard blight on our City streets  provides no useful info that benefits anyone in richmond (except Chevron :)  ) Please note that we cannot legally rescind the prior LED authorizations, nor can we legally get rid of the billboards which blight our City streets any other way.

  1. The old BILLBOARDS were Blight and the electric ones are distracting.  Today they are new, tomorrow they will need maintenance and any law should require prompt maintenance to avoid partial working signs that become blight.  The city made it hard to say no to electric billboards when the city hall sign became electric.  The lawyers claim the same with art as they do with electric signs, if you allow one you cannot discriminate.  That is one argument, the question is about safety, brightness at night, people wanting to sleep if a bright electric sign is adding to the neighborhood brightness on overcast nights reflecting the light around the area.  Even on clear nights the distance a sign can be seen from might help stop them? Some cities tried to clean up businesses with color schemes and design review, then "artists" wanted to put different types of murals on walls, cities also tried to clean up billboards, now electric signs are not stoppable because of the same lawyers.
  2. OPPOSE.
  3. I strongly oppose LED billboards. Their brilliant lights impose on the landscape, both near and far, and a single LED billboard presents a local and regional blight. I don't know if they have been studied as a distraction to drivers, but I strongly suspect that they are.
  4. Thanks for solliciting our input. I am opposed to allowing large format LED billboards. I live in a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood where billboards and huge advertising balloons along San Pablo Ave. are obtrussive and visually unpleasant. Whether in Hilltop or elsewhere, they detract from the natural environment, block the sky and are unnecessary ! thanks,
  5. Just say no please.
  6. I say loudly "NO!". The San Pablo Casino sign monstrosity currently on I-880 is bad enough.  The LED at Pacific East is a driving distraction.  With all the traffic problems plaguing I-880 now, an LED would only add to it.  What does CALTRANS, Highway Patrol, NSTB say about these "signs"?  Aren't there some traffic/accident studies out there to show that these things are a traffic nuisance? If all else fails, how about suggesting that they put their blight on I-580 West in a place where no one lives? Thanks for asking our opinion.
  7. While I think that it is a shame that Richmond may lose out on some extra revenue, I STRONGLY OPPOSE these signs because they are very distracting to the driver.  I don’t understand how the State of CA has allowed them. 
  8. While I appreciate that cities need to generate much needed revenue, these LED billboards are horrible—to look at, to distract drivers, light pollution and probably a host of other problems. Now, could we start a campaign to get the LED lights out of needed Car headlights and unneeded ‘bling’ lights around car headlights—talk about a safety (as well as annoying) issue.
  9. I am older with some visual difficulties which are worse with night driving. I oppose the signs because of their brightness and the Las Vegas look they impart.
  10. The only thing I would support about an LED billboard is if it used less energy. Otherwise I don't like the intrusiveness of them. Furthermore, I and most other professional mariners on SF Bay find them to be a hazard to navigation at night because of all the overwhelming light they emit. You could ague they are a distraction to driving a car as well.
  11. I'm against them in Richmond.
  12. Not so sure an LED sign will help Hilltop Mall. The redevelopment of it could help. I haven't purchased anything there for years. The chains either didn't have what I want and often the stores did not make it convenient to shop. Not help or dressing rooms locked. It appears that the selection in the chains is lower quality.
  13. LED billboards:  NO, NO, NO.  There is more than enough light pollution in our area already.
  14. I oppose modifying Richmond's sign ordinance to allow large format LED billboards. Actually, I oppose all billboards. I realize this means that I am far out of step with our national culture. Thanks for asking my opinion.
  15. Oppose in every way!  In fact, I would love to see our city prohibit all billboards as a form of visual blight.  At the very least, prohibit billboards that are less than 50’ from the ground (whatever the industry standard is – there are billboards around town that are just 10-15’ from the ground and are a real eyesore).
  16. ]Thanks for asking! Completely opposed to this visual blight which, IMHO, is dangerous to night drivers. I came across a super bright one one my return from Omaha last trip, after leaving Salt Lake City and crossing the vast emptiness of the Great Salt Lake and environs, POW, cross into Nevada and huge bright sign. Awful. Bad for wildlife which synchronize to light/dark cycles, birds who could be blinded by the brightness, then fall onto the freeway creating…Obstacles for drivers ! (ok, it’s a reach I admit…) A factor in being unable to enjoy the night sky, especially for city dwellers. We want MORE access to nature and night skies, and this would obscure the ability to see stars in the immediate area. So, no, I cannot stand these wherever they appear, they bother my night vision coming up 80 from San Jose, and they serve no social good. If it’s so late bright lights are required, it’s way too late to go shopping at Hilltop !! They need to figure out what their mall marketing plan is, as I have yet to see much trace of same. Without marketing, duh…. One bright sign is useless without a marketing plan anyway.
  17. I hate billboards, and I think the LED ones are particularly hateful. On top of being ugly, at night they are blinding and even more distracting. My personal opinion is that, until we take down billboards we don't have any right to prosecute taggers. The only difference between the two forms of signage is that one pays and the other doesn't. But I guess that's the way of our world these days anyway. What ever happened to Ladybird Johnson's anti-billboard campaign?
  18. They are so bright they intrude on life miles away. I was on Grizzly Peak and there was the Bay Bridge sign distractingly bright red. I vote no!
  19. I would say that both size and glitz are way over the top in all of the real-life examples you've shown here. However, I might not find smaller less glitzy LED signs offensive, ugly or unpleasantly distracting. The problem is, quite simply: signs that scream. And all merchants seem to want their signs to scream, whether by using color, size, light, sex, or any combination thereof. I am 100% percent in favor of strictly reducing and limiting visual blight. Meaning no signs that scream. I know we currently have size limits but has anyone considered limits based on combined features, something like an overall "glitz score?" For example, an LED sign would have smaller size limits than a non-lit sign because the lighting factor raises it's "glitz" score. Now what if we add being energy-wise as a factor? Would it disqualify all lighted signs, or only very small ones.. that do not score high on the other glitz factors? I also wonder if this kind of combined score policy might at long last get rid of those "pop-up" inflated figures, powered by a motor driven air pump. They waste energy, make noise. Are they even considered "signage?"
  20. There is no point in having a single city ban these types of billboards if they are allowed on other roadways in surrounding areas. Therefore I support allowing the LED billboards even though I oppose the billboards in general.
  21. Hi Tom!  Oppose oppose oppose!!!   From the 1st one at the bay bridge, the one on the Berkeley curve, the Coliseum ones are just horrible,  They're huge and just SLAM you with their content!!!   Beside, they hurt my eyes..   Please pass on to the advertisers that I make a point of NEVER buying the products on these billboards..
    Thanks for all you do for our city!!
  22. I am against LED billboards everywhere.  We have more than enough intrusive outdoor advertising and do not need more. If we allow them at Hilltop, they will end up elsewhere.  The one that exists in Richmond should be forced to change back to what it was before. Thank you for soliciting our opinions.  I am CCing the entire City Council.
  23. I hate these signs and am LESS INCLINED to shop at the places they advertise, because I equate this kind of advertising with casinos, ball parks, and used car lots. Everyone knows Hilltop is there -- how is an LED sign going to boost activity? If people come to the mall, and it's a shitty mall, they won't come back and an LED sign is not going to help that.
  24. I think we should ban any (or any more)LED billboards.  They are indeed distracting to driving and certainly add to the visual pollution of the concrete city . . . nature being obscured so no hope for peaceful drive . . . adds stress and probably might add to accidents. Thank you for your work.
  25. I HATE  those billboards. I felt sorry for the Albany people exposed to the one there at the Pacific Mall. That one makes even driving over the overpass on Central rather painful at night They are an outrage in my opinion.
  26. I oppose these bright led type billboards. They are distracting, take driver's attention off the road, are a strain on the eyes and therefore dangerous. The billboard at the Bay Bridge should be taken down. Please vote against all such billboards in the city limits. 
  27. I would vote "NO" on LED billboards in Richmond. Ugly signs already detract from richmond's natural beauty.
  28. Let's face it-- Richmond, California is NOT Half Moon Bay-- and it never will be! That said, please let's deal with reality. Yes! Please bring Richmond, California to the 21st Century, so it may realize more of its potential for economic growth. . . For God's sake, its nestled among four cities that are already attracting relevant RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS DUE TO THEIR SIMILAR ACTIONS: El Cerrito, El Sobrante (unincorporated), Pinole, and San Pablo. That's my 2 cents worth. . . God Bless!
  29. I oppose LED billboards! Thank you.
  30. LED billboards are distracting.  No matter how hard I try to ignore them, I find myself trying to read the message while I am driving.  Talk about distracted driving.  The intent of these billboards is to get people to read the message, right?
  31. I am adamantly opposed to the LED signs.  They are a visual blight, and distracting to drivers.  And it makes no sense to allow one just to temporarily boost activity at a mall that, as you say, is arguably (though not by me) an obsolete business model.  Once that cat is out of the bag, it will be impossible to put it back.  Millions of dollars in sign revenue is certainly tempting, but Richmond has done a remarkable job of attracting clean and green businesses. Thank you,
  33. I strongly oppose the LED billboards.  They are an assault on the night sky.  Just last week PG&E replaced the street light bulbs in the North and East.  Gone is the soft light of the old lights and in its place are harsh, super bright white lights. Thank you for alerting us
  34. God, no! We have too much light pollution as it is. These billboards are distracting to drivers, and God, are they ugly! And again, light pollution is a serious  problem. Down with LED billboards! Thanks for your attention, Tom,
  35. Thanks! Oppose!
  36. I opposed it.
  37. No LED billboards
  38. I might support a sign if the proceeds were supporting something new the city needed:  Like a new bridge for the train to pass over Richmond Parkway near Ohio without blowing a whistle at night.  That bridge, if paid for by the sign company (or via its revenue), could have an LED sign as far as I'm concerned.  The signage should be limited to such clear compromise situations (sign stays if over time the sign owner also pays for maintenance of the bridge).  IMO - signs should not be placed far away from the "opportunities" / problems or bridge situation(s) that justify them. 
  39. Hi, Count me as a very big No.
  40. I oppose the LED signs. They are way too bright and distracting. Drivers need fewer distractions. Thank you
  41. I strongly oppose large LED billboards, especially near the water.  In addition to visual blight and distraction to drivers, they are one more confusing light source for migrating and over-wintering birds.  Huge numbers of shorebirds and marine birds spend the winter along the Richmond Shoreline and in the bay. It is better for the birds if the bay shoreline and waters are dark.  This is impossible in our urban setting, but we don’t need to add to the existing excess amounts of light. I have no problem with these more modern electronic billboards.  I think they can brighten a community with better artwork than what we see on our current billboards. [And no, this is not a reference to any of the Chevron billboards or the political billboards we can expect to see later this year.] Many of our current billboards look trashy.  It’s not so much the content as it is the state of disrepair that some of them are in. In a more perfect world our neighborhoods wouldn’t have billboards or other signage at all.  But that more perfect world isn’t around here.  The choice we have is to continue with the ratty looking advertisement options we see right now or to modernize with high class looking signage. And for those people who might argue that the mom and pop shops will be priced away from these newer billboards, we need to ask when the last time we saw a billboard here in Richmond for a mom and pop business.  We might see an occasional billboard for a revival meeting or something similar but that’s a rarity.
  42. I'd have nothing against them unless one of them popped up blocking my view in the Annex. I've thought for years there should be one at Hilltop. I could see how some living close to one would object to one looming over their yard or turning night into day.
  43. Tom: I am sympathetic to the Hilltop Mall situation and wouldn't mind a big electronic board there.  But I worry about a series of them all the way from Crockett to Richmond.  Whatever happened to Lady Bird Johnson's highway beautification limits on billboards?  Does that only apply to rural areas? If there is a way to allow them at shopping malls and not just anywhere along the freeway, that would be OK with me.
  44. I, for one, am against these overly bright LED billboards.  I hate them!  I could see someone suing the city because they really could cause an accident.  No one is there to dim them in foggy conditions and there's nothing like being blinded by bright lights in the fog! Thanks for asking,
  45. My husband and I are both against LED billboards. They mar the landscape, create diversions for drivers (I’m sure they must be responsible for accidents), and I can’t imagine what life is like for folks who live near them. We live 2 blocks from I-80 and if I had one of those billboards blocking my view or mucking it up with its always-on lights, I would go crazy! I have moments when I wish I was young enough to join Guerilla Girls, or whomever is defacing billboards these days -- oh wait, really no one is. A lost art, the cutting down and/or  defacing of billboards. Anyway, we vote NO NO NO to this obnoxious form of advertisement. I’d like to see all of the billboards gone. They all block someone’s view of the sky, the hills, the bay. Thank you.
  46. I oppose LED billboards. They are a pox on the land. Visual pollution. Vote no, no, no.
  47. I strongly oppose all LED  billboards.  They are light pollution. I also find them to be visually distracting and distressing when they use a blue color and I see the blue color in the rear view mirror. Which has happened frequently when I have passed LED billboards. Thanks
  48. Thanks for soliciting input from your readers, Tom.  I oppose large format LED billboards because of the visual blight (especially at night for any unfortunate residents who live nearby) and the very dangerous distraction to drivers.  Very hard to fathom that Hilltop Mall's woes would be solved by one of these flashing monstrosities
  49. I personally think they are distracting not to mention tacky.  I'd prefer to remove all billboards (including the fixed good ole fashing ones) if that were an option.
  50. We are vehemently opposed! Keep waggin!
  51. I really am opposed to those overly bright billboards and even car headlights.  Maybe it doesn't bother someone in their 20s or 30s but eyes change as you age.  I think it's a matter of safety.  They are distracting and dangerous.
  52. I do NOT support the LED billboards. I agree with the people who consider them a traffic hazard. I thank you very much for taking such good care of us!
  53. Opposed! Thanks for asking.
  54. Opposed. They're distracting and annoying, especially to people who have them in their viewscape.
  55. I think they add to light pollution and should not be allowed. Why is the one at Pacific East Mall allowed anyway? If they are essential to business how has business survived w/o them? We should be moving in the opposite direction -- getting rid of as many horizontal lighting sources as possible. Sky glow is a worldwide problem. Why add to it?
  56. Thanks for asking for feedback re LED billboard issue.  I am not in favor of additional bright lights, tall signs. The LED lights are distracting, dangerous and ugly.  I’ll be very sorry if Macy’s closes – even if it isn’t a full-service Macy’s, it is at least close.  However I agree, the Mall is in extremely sad shape. I would prefer for it to be converted to a Bay Street or Santana Row with a combination of residential and commercial – especially if it is “pedestrian friendly,” rather than allow the area to continue to deteriorate. I don’t believe LED signs will do anything other than hasten the downhill slide…
  57. Totally oppose.  Don't need more electricity usage or light at night.
  58. I am strongly opposed to LED billboards, and, in fact, to any billboards!  But LED ones are particularly pernicious.
  59. Hi Tom, Thanks so much for reaching out to folks to get their input.  I definitely think better signage throughout the city is much needed.  Not sure if the LED billboards are the best alternative, they look a bit too large but certainly something scaled up from the current signs would be a good attraction.  I live in the Hilltop area and appreciate the new district signs that were added last year.  The only problem is that you cannot read these signs at night!!  I don’t know the cost of the signs but I’m sure they were very expensive.  I just can’t believe no one tested to see how they would look at different times of the day or night.  I am hoping that there is possibly some type of reflective paint or seal that could be added to the existing signs so you can read them at night.  Otherwise, it’s just a big waste of money.  Not sure if the City actually contributed or just the Hilltop Association in which case part of my homeowners dues go to it. As for the mall specifically, clearly the business model is now obsolete and needs to be revised.  I am hoping that we are able to keep some of the large retail stores open but it would be great to see some of the smaller independent shops open up downtown!  They could open nice storefront businesses for the amount they are paying in rent at the mall.  I would be happy to talk to some of them.  Not sure how soon they will begin to make big changes but I think it would be beneficial to talk to some of them to see if they would be interested in opening downtown.  Of course it always help to have support from councilmembers in these type of negotiations and talks.  Let me know if you would like to discuss it.  Thanks.
  60. BIG visual distraction, plus the images are never "on" long enough to grasp all the information. NO.
  61. Hi Tom, I am opposed in general (not just in Richmond) because those signs are really distracting for drivers, as you mention. Thanks for asking.
  62. Sure, We support having the advertising signs ....brings $$$ to a Cities....
  63. The LED billboards are not only a light blight, they are also a BIG distraction and should not be allowed.
  64. To me its about the money - Richmond needs more and we can't be too picky or we'll have no more Richmond.  I was in favor of rejecting the casino but not in favor of preserving our muddy, unusable shoreline or the dilapidated WWII buildings.  I'm in favor of keeping Chevron honest but not driving them out of town or refusing to permit them to upgrade their refinery.  I'm in favor of branding for green business and local contractors but not preventing other business or contractors from being in Richmond. It's about having balance - and having our City get some money by adding an LED sign along a freeway where everybody else has one makes sense to me.  I wouldn't want Richmond to have been the first to do so however!  The battle against "light pollution" is not something Richmond alone can impact so holding out as the last bastion gains us nothing but rolling eyes.  Lets pick our battles where we can make a difference and monetize the hell out of anything else.
  65. No, no, no on LED billboards!!!
  66. I strongly oppose large format LED billboards.
  67. ugh. visual blight .
  68. I oppose the LED. Thanks for asking.
  69. I am vehemently opposed to LED billboards anywhere that they can be seen by motorists driving on the freeway.  The changing graphics and worse any video, draw the eye and the attention of drivers who are all too used to keeping their eyes glued to one sort of screen or another. There are already enough distractions for drivers and it is amazing that we don't see more accidents than we do. Adding anything that moves or changes will just make matter worse. On a side note, I have a company that deals with video projection including LED video-walls for large stage productions.  In my opinion, the quality of the images on these LED billboards is very bad. They have to make them so bright to be seen during the day time that the overall image is just bad looking. We don't need any more large ugly things to look at! Now maybe if they put up some high quality screens with art on them......
  70. I would consent to a few more LED billboards, strategically spread around the city, with the condition that frequent advertisers be limited to a certain number of days/year and that annually these clients' rentals be rotated for equitable distribution--considering seasonal sales, election cycles, etc.   Some of the time (especially when not rented) the signs should remind people about the City of Richmond--its improvements, the climate, history and beauty (sans ads or logos); we are fortunate to live here.
  71. This is going to become a BIG issue. How about a website that supports LED signs to balance the “Blightfighters” site?
  72. I oppose modifying Richmond’s sign ordinance to allow large format LED billboards.
  73. I guess my major concern is that they could be "attractive nuisances" and distract drivers. They also seem so "in your face" as a way to coerce people into whatever they're promoting. They're harder to tune out, which I'm sure is why advertisers are so keen on them.
  74. I am very much against these billboards, they create more visual pollution and distraction for motorists.  Regarding the sign at Pacific East Mall, the owner should be made to undo the LED sign since he didn't have specific permission and pulled a "bait and switch".  It is refreshing to drive through Marin County and not see billboards along the highway.  An enlightened population voted them down years ago.
  75. Add my vote to the “they just add to already too much visual blight and dangerously distract drivers” column.
  76. LED  billboards  would be a blight in our neighborhoods and a hazard on our roads. They are like giant TV screens intruding on our visual landscape distracting drivers and creating constantly changing visual litter in a community. What ever happened to Lady Bird Johnson's movement to beatify America?  Isn't there a light pollution ordinance at the state or local level?
  77. I wanted to let you know of my strong support for LED sign on 880.  The Craneway needs to provide more exposure to generate interest in Craneway Events.  We would advertise on the board, as well as many of our promoters.   With options limited on the 580 corridor,  the 880 Freeway at Hilltop is a great location and would generate substantial income for the City.  Tax 'em big time, just like you support re: pot. How about $1/sf/hr/24/7, with a 'subliminal' message like "don't smoke tobacco," "eat more vegetables and fruits," "exercise," etc flashed on the screen for 10 seconds between each commercial. Proceeds would go exclusively to schools (first elementary, then high schools and trade schools until CA had an excellent education system. Once that's achieved, use the money to reduce taxes.
  78. Please, no! Heck, no! Bad words, no! No where near and not visible from Richmond's 32-mile shoreline treasure. The LED billboard mounted on I-80 in El Cerrito/Albany years ago is visible for miles across the SF Bay water.  It is a glaring, irritating flashing year-round eyesore at night for miles on the SF Bay Trail and throughout the surrounding community. When the Sierra Club representative was asked about why they voted to support the billboard (years ago), representative Norman La Force said it was one of the worst decisions they made in exchange for an "environmental financial deal".  Many who went along with the El Cerrito/Albany sign have the same long-term regrets.
  79. I oppose the large  format LED billboards.  We don't need to look like Las Vegas! How about the law that forbids using cell phones while driving?  Watching a movie on a billboard is a lot worse!
  80. Thank you for asking. My input is NO NO NO NO NO. These billboards are a blight on our landscape. They are distracting to drivers as they are ever-changing, and they are way too bright. If they want to redevelop the Hilltop Mall to be more like Santana Row, they're going to find that people don't want to live in a place where a giant billboard lights up their home, or advertises its presence. I do personally hate these billboards, but also think this is the wrong direction for Richmond to go in. We should be emphasizing our shoreline, our industry, and and our heritage, not allowing commercial advertisers to pollute our sky and roadsides in order to make money.
  81. I'm responding to your request for input on installing LED Billboards in Richmond.  I feel that the boards do terrible damage to our environment, making it visually more like the many trashed and trashy places full of billboards and less like the unique places that are likely to attract people who care about community, historical preservation, and the environment.  I avoid going to Hilltop Mall as much as I can, and would avoid it even more if there is an obnoxious, blinding LED Billboard there.  I would rather go to Point Richmond or Albany, where there are almost no lit signs. Ever since I drove past one of the first LED boards I've been saying "Those things ought to be illegal." Having said all that, how many millions of dollars are we talking about here?  What could we get in return?  Could we keep them out of green spaces and nice historic areas and let them install some in horrendous places like Hilltop Mall?  If they are bringing millions of dollars that we could earmark for turning the Richmond Greenway into a huge urban park and improving the historic center of town, maybe I would consider it.  If approving them means approving them indiscriminately, or if the income would not allow us to make a real difference in our city, keep those nasty things out! Thanks for the chance to give input.
  82. I absolutely do not want LED billboards in Richmond. We already have enough of the regular style billboards, and the LED billboards are distracting and dangerous to drivers. Also, all we need is to see more Chevron propaganda in big bold lights. When I see those billboards, all I can think of is Las Vegas, which is the ultimate in LED lighting tackiness. Thanks for posting this and asking for feedback from your constituents.
  83. While they are sometimes distractive and overly lit, they also are the wave of the future and we need not bypass millions of dollars because we resist change.
  84. Please do not allow LED Billboards. 
  85. The dark-sky movement is a campaign to reduce light pollution. The advantages of reducing light pollution include an increased number of stars visible at night, reducing the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment, and cutting down on energy usage. Earth Hour and National Dark-Sky Week are two examples of such efforts. The movement started with professional and amateur astronomers alarmed that nocturnal skyglow from urban areas was blotting out the sight of stars. For example, the world-famous Palomar Observatory is threatened by sky-glow from Escondido and local businesses.[1] For similar reasons, astronomers in Arizona helped push the governor there to veto a bill in 2012 which would have lifted a ban on illuminated billboards.[2] Nocturnal animals can be harmed by light pollution because they are biologically evolved to be dependent on an environment with a certain amount of hours of uninterrupted daytime and nighttime. The over-illumination of the night sky is affecting these organisms (especially birds). This biological study of darkness is called scotobiology.[3] Light pollution has also been found to affect human circadian rhythms.[4] The dark-sky movement encourages the use of full-cutoff fixtures that cast little or no light upward in public areas and generally to encourage communities to adopt lighting regulations. A 2011 project is to establish "dark sky oases" in suburban areas.[5]
  86. I oppose.
  87. The city of Richmond is an advertiser on the Pacific East mall billboard.
  88. As I expressed at a recent joint meeting of the Planning Commission and DRB, I'm opposed to allowing LED signs in Richmond.  It would set us down a slippery slope of ever-increasing and constantly changing garish visual images advertising mostly products for big corporations. It's visual blight and also extremely distracting to drivers.  LED signs are designed to try and keep drivers' eyes looking at them and their contents for a longer period of time than stationery signs, and that's what the advertisers want, too.  I want drivers focussing their attention on the road. I don't think people will be any more likely to go to Hilltop Mall if LED signs are introduced there.  And as you point out, the relevant property owner may not even allow it.  Or perhaps they're waiting for a lucrative offer that sign companies are unwilling to make until Richmond gives the legislative green light. The big sign companies like CBS Outdoor are garnering support from businesses at Hilltop with the promise of erecting a big sign to advertise the Mall free of charge, but at what price?  What if those businesses still don't do any better after the sign is in place?  We'd be stuck with the constant LED advertising slide show there and most likely elsewhere in the city,  too. Thanks for asking,
  89. Hope return email is okay. I personally hate the LED billboard by Ranch 99. I live in the richmond annex near there and that thing blazes quite a trail of light. I can see it from my window. I doubt the residents like it. What an eyesore! It is distracting to drivers and no one can really see more than one or two ads unless it is dead stop traffic.
  90. All that to say I am opposed to these type of billboards that run 24/7....blech. Thanks for doing such an awesome job of keeping residents informed!!!
  91. I've always felt they are distracting to drivers and thus unsafe. Wonder if there's any statistics about this.  The visual blight is offensive to folks our age but the young 'uns probably don't mind.
  92. Oppose. We’re bombarded with advertising as it is and anything we can do to reduce or at least not increase light pollution would be welcome.
  93. since most who live near our freeways are not affluent, this notion of bright light billboards are a form of 'tax' upon the less financially advantaged.   My vote is for no billboards at all.   And I definitely oppose the glaring billboard such as that at Ranch 99 and the nearly blinding one on US 101 somewhere near San Carlos.  
  94. support LED
  95. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. In general, I oppose the LED billboards:  there are other more creative ways to draw customers, and the these billboards have a depressing, dystopian, 'Bladerunner' feel to them. If Hilltop doesn't succeed, it won't be because of bad signage.
  96. I am one of those Richmond residents who decidedly despised those LED billboards & believes they are a visual blight on the landscape and dangerous distraction to drivers.  Thanks for asking; I already sent one email to the City of Richmond on this point.
  97. A few to support the cities coffers are fine, but I would add that no political ads can be displayed, because that exacerbates the problem of politicians being pocketed by big money contributors.

98.  Seems like there’s very little to be gained by this, and lots of good reasons why not to do it.

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