Letters: City Needs Policy on Digital Signs

Philadelphia Inquirer

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Letters to the Editor: City needs policy on digital signs peco_sign

Inga Saffron’s article on the PECO sign brings up an issue SCRUB has been working on for quite some time – the issue of digital or electronic signage in the public space (“Signs of light,” Friday). The new sign has more intense lighting, more colors, and faster moving displays even though PECO, in trying out its new sign, has set the brightness at a fraction of what it could be.

Philadelphia currently has no comprehensive policy for electronic signs. It is a given that this technology will continue to evolve and grow. The question we need to ask now is, how do we want this technology used in Philadelphia? Should large commercial logo signs on buildings be allowed to change to bright, moving digital signs? Should neighborhood stores have large, bright signs advertising items sold in their stores all day and night? How about videos with sound?

New sign technologies make living inside a never-ending television commercial a very real possibility. Do we want that to be our reality in Philadelphia?

Lynn McConville
Board member
Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight