A wave of new billboard blight could be coming to California’s freeways if a bill currently before the state legislature becomes law.
AB 3168 would allow billboard heights to increase, make them easier to relocate, encourage their conversion to digital screens showing new ads every few seconds, and allow them to be put up in areas where they are currently prohibited.
The bill would alter the state’s outdoor advertising laws by changing the definition of a “landscaped freeway.” Of California’s roughly 4,300 miles of freeways, nearly one-third are considered to be landscaped, meaning Caltrans maintains trees, shrubs, flowers or other plantings which primarily serve to improve the aesthetic appearance of the roadway. State law currently prohibits new billboards in areas of freeway deemed to be landscaped.
The legislation passed through the Assembly with no opposition and virtually no public awareness. It is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations on August 6 so take action today!