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Urgent: Chicago digital billboards vote 12/12

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#1 magic612

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

Per Chicago resident and Light Pollution Reduction Advocate Audrey Fischer, the City Council of Chicago is planning on holding a vote on whether to allow digital billboards in the city on December 12, 2012. There has been very little notice of this from the city government; the billboard industry would of course like to push this through as quickly as possible before opposition can develop.

PLEASE consider writing a letter to the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (and ideally, copying all city aldermen as well). It doesn't need to be long; just something about light pollution and a short personal anecdote. Two to three short paragraphs at most is perfect.

City Hall's contact info: http://www.cityofchi...al/contact.html

List of Aldermen / Wards (each link takes you to contact info):
http://www.cityofchi...bout/wards.html

Sample language to include:

"Digital billboards threaten more than just the stars in the night sky. Recent research has shown that greater levels of light at night are connected to higher incidence of breast and prostate cancers. The City of Chicago is a beautiful place... during the day. At night, there are very few stars visible as it is, and digital billboards are certain to wipe out the last remaining stars from the night.

Don't force residents to buy curtains and blinds so they can sleep. The city takes action when loud music is playing that disturbs residents. Light at night may be silent, but reduced melatonin from light at night is well established. While research is ongoing, disrupted sleep, depression, anxiety, and even increased air pollution now have strong correlations to light at night. Digital billboards would worsen this situation.

Please STOP digital billboards from arriving in Chicago. The city has made big pushes towards using greener technology in the city's auto fleet and other initiatives. Digital billboards would be taking an enormous step back, to the detriment of all residents."


Of course, feel free to alter this language as you see fit, and just use portions or sections of it. We don't want multiple letters to look like they all came from one form letter!

Thank you in advance for your consideration to this and your help.

#2 TOM O

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

I wrote in. Thanks Dave.

#3 magic612

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

Thank you Tom!!

#4 RobbW

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

I wrote a letter and emailed to all the Chicago aldermen with an email address. I would have included Mayor Emanuel on the email, but I can't find his email address anywhere.

#5 magic612

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Robb! Yeah, I'm not sure there is an email address available for the mayor, which is unfortunate (and unhelpful). For him, a letter is perhaps more effective anyway.

#6 George N

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:51 PM

The commercial “strip mall” town in my area has banned them because they were considered to be too distracting to drivers and thus a driving safety hazard.

#7 Qwickdraw

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

The obvious question is which type produces more LP, a standard BB with large high wattage floodlights pointing up or an electronic type BB.

#8 FirstSight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:10 PM

The obvious question is which type produces more LP, a standard BB with large high wattage floodlights pointing up or an electronic type BB.


Digital billboards which are simply near-equivalent replacements for conventional billboards, with only modestly greater line-of-sight brightness are not of themselves any greater threat to light pollution or safety. What IS a threat are the ones which are garishly bright and oversized compared to conventional billboards, especially those which display distractingly flashing or animated images.

I suspect you'll have less success in tryng to stop a switchover to digital billboards per se and greater success in trying to limit their threshold for being an intrusive, distracting nuisance to a great many people other than just astronomers. The latter is the fight I would recommend concentrating on winning; you'll likely get much broader public support behind you on that basis than trying for an outright ban.






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