After the jump is the gist of the Dallas state senator’s remarks at a transportation meeting, courtesy of the Quorum Report. I have a recommendation for a standard policy: tear ’em all down.
Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) signaled today one of his top priorities for next legislative session — creating a uniform statewide policy on billboards. If that does not seem at the outset a headline grabber on the order of whether to build the Trans Texas Corridor, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee kindly suggests otherwise. He told a roomful of transportation experts at today’s Texas Transportation Forum that policy considerations on billboards closely mirror the “public vs. private” arguments on toll roads. For instance, one has to balance the public needs of unspoiled vistas against private interests such as the farmer who earns revenue off of leasing space for advertising. More importantly, he said, the current patchwork approach to billboard regulation ensures that lawmakers spend too much time in committee on billboard-related legislation, carving out exemptions for this roadway or adding that roadway. While it’s too early to tell how the next session will unfold, Carona’s statement of intent is sure to prick up the ears of those at the Capitol who work on billboard legislation.