The Talker: City approves deal for digital billboards - New York News

The Talker: City approves deal for digital billboards

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

How do you like that view along the Kennedy? Well, it's going to change.

On Wednesday, the City Council approved a plan to let a big company install 34 digital billboards along the city's expressways. There will be a dozen along the Kennedy alone.

The vote was 43 to 6, but some aldermen think they're ugly.

"Anyone who has landed at O'Hare and taken the Kennedy downtown knows how magnificent our skyline is," said Alderman Bob Fioretti. "Do we now want to deface one of our best assets?"

"These billboards are not going to be erected on the Lakefront. They're not going to be erected in neighborhoods. These will be erected on our expressway. And the last time I checked, there is not a coffee table book of photos of our lovely expressway system," said Alderman Brendan Reilly in favor of the billboards.

The mayor points out that the billboards will generate $15 million in the first year and that they're not just there to sell beer and car insurance--they'll also be used to communicate critical information during emergencies.

"While I am not crazy about billboards, I am excited about the opportunity for the city to be able to communicate even more so with its constituents if it's an evacuation for an emergency purpose or buying your city sticker by July 30," says Alderman Rey Colon.

"I believe that $15 million a year $155 million over the life of this, that it allows us to tell property taxpayers as we just did on the budget, not on property tax increases. Not on sales tax increase," Mayor Emanuel said.

FOX 32 News Facebook friends were worried about money and safety.

Jim says, "If this helps not to raise taxes, it's all good."

Danny wrote, "Only politicians can think it's dangerous to text and drive..... But reading a flashing billboard at 60 mph, that's safe."

Amme says, "They'll find a way to squander it. The parking meters were supposed to be a money maker."

Mashantala wrote, "So, you can't text and drive... Can't have a TV visible for the driver in the car... But several bright flashing gigantic billboards are okay, because the city makes money? Give me a break."

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