Digital billboards

I had a great time in the mountains. In between hiking with Annie and Bella in the Wilson Creek wildernerness area (Lost Cove Creek, Hunt Fish Falls Trail, and Timber Ridge Trails), in and around Julian Price (Boone Fork Trail, Tanawha Trail off Holloway Mountain Road), I managed some good time cycling on a slew of back country roads in Avery, Caldwell, Ashe, and Watauga counties which brought on some near nirvana experiences. Gravel is good, it keeps the car traffic down and the scenery is measurably better than most paved roads.

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Driving home we hit that miserable stretch of Interstate 40 known as Greensboro.

I used to think it couldn’t get worse between the incessant fast food stops and the exurban tract housing, but now with the new changing digital billboards it has clearly gone beyond ugly and depressing to ugly and distracting.

There was one billboard that really stood out, flashing and changing like a Vegas strip club sign with a short in its fusing and a long in its attitude, it had a great angle looking down on the highway from a bluff, and as we approached it directly after passing under an overpass, it became so bright and glaring I thought to myself ” this clearly will cause a wreck, you can’t help but be distracted by that kind of bombardment.”

Annie agreed. We then wondered if and when this does cause a fatal car accident, will word get to the billboard company–and their shareholders if they aren’t so insulated as to be divorced from the effects of their actions–that their distracting sign played a direct role in causing a fatality, and if so will they actually C A R E .

Will they re-evaluate the use of these things…

…or will they merely pocket more money from the next round of advertisers, turn up the frequency, put on their selective blinders, and say “Fuck you very much.” ?

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