Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I caught this interesting item in the Shepherd-Express:
Driven to Distraction
City debates electronic signs
Why stop with cell phones, texting, DVDs, CDs, the radio, fast food, traffic, construction, snowbanks and pedestrians? Add electronic billboards to the list of drivers’ distractions. On March 18, the city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will debate—yet again—regulations for electronic billboards in residential neighborhoods. If passed, “automatic changeable message signs” would be allowed every 1,000 feet and could change every eight seconds, or about seven times a minute. Right now they’re only allowed on federal highways, but a test sign has been up at Oakland and North avenues without much fuss.
Outgoing Alderman Mike D’Amato has been pushing for this ordinance locally, and Clear Channel Communications has been advocating for it nationally. But push-back has come from Aldermen Mike Murphy and Bob Bauman, who are concerned about safety and light pollution coming from these TV-type signs.
Although the Federal Highway Administration is going to launch a two-year study this summer, the ordinance would allow for these signs before their effect is totally known. The ordinance would allow the city’s Department of Public Works to order signs to be turned off if they interfere with traffic signals or controls, create a “confusing or dominating background” or otherwise obstruct a driver’s line of sight.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with electronic billboards.
I recall all the fuss when Milwaukee County Stadium put electronic messages on the stadium facing I-94. A Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department official made a comment on a local radio newscast that there would be all sorts of accidents because motorists would be reading the messages and not paying attention.
I don’t believe there’s been any evidence of billboard-related highway carnage.
But can you imagine if someone proposed putting one of these up in Franklin, where some people’s calendars still say 1956?
Electronic billboards may already be banned here. I can’t say for sure. I do know all hell would break loose if someone wanted to prop one up in the 53132 zip code.
It would start with a petition drive to stop this evil intrusion into our lives. Why, we can’t have lights and words and information on a billboard. That would be…..so……contemporary.
Then we’d have to set up another useless un-elected board or commission to hold dozens of meetings to study this controversy.
And on and on and on and on and on and on……you get the picture.
I guess I should cringe every time I drive by Casa di Giorgio at 37th and Rawson. Haven’t gotten into an accident yet, but it’s always nice to know what their specials are.