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The Boston Globe

Letters

Uglification spreads across nation’s highways

Re“Mass. gives the go-ahead for electronic billboards” (Page A1, Nov. 28): The poet Ogden Nash famously wrote:

“I think that I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Indeed, unless the billboards fall

I’ll never see a tree at all.”

The inherent economics of billboard advertising requires exponential expansion to continue to attract notice and revenue (and draw eyes away from neighboring billboards). This can best be seen along most of the nation’s interstate highways (except in Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska).

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Mike Dukakis rightly emphasizes the uglification of Los Angeles. In addition, to travel Interstate 95 south all the way to Florida is to experience an unremitting cascade of taller, brighter, bigger, uglier, and more distracting commercial messages than any time in history.

It is all about profits for outdoor advertising giants such as Clear Channel and Lamar. It has little or nothing to do with helping local business, or local government budgets.

More is not better.

John Tener

Newton

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