Knoxville group opposes digital billboards

Knoxville (WVLT) - If the Metropolitan Planning Commission gets its way, you will soon see digital billboards on Knoxville roadways.

Despite a push by environmental activists, the MPC recommended that the city council approve the advertisement signs.

Imagine digital billboards along I-40 in Knoxville. That could happen if the city council follows the MPC's recommendation which passed Thursday, but not before 3 failed motions first.

"Just glad it's going to go on to City Council. It's been a long process," said David Jernigan from Lamar Advertising.

But there are those who are against the dynamic displays. Scenic Knoxville, a group formed to protect Knoxville's scenery, is against them, but weren't surprised by Thursday's decision.

"We thought it would get to City Council," said Duane Grieve from Scenic Knoxville.

MPC advises that with every digital billboard that goes up, two regular signs must come down in an effort to clean up Knoxville, but that doesn't satisfy Scenic Knoxville.

"We're not convinced that's what they're going to do," Grieve said.

Scenic Knoxville believes the signs are ugly and aren't safe due to the changing messages and brightness. They await a safety study do out next Spring.

"If the federal government is in the process of doing the study, then why can't we not wait," Grieve said.

"This technology is safe, there's studies that verify that technology that's aesthetically pleasing," Lamar Advertising's attorney, Greg Isaacs, said.

The Commission is backing the advertising industry.

"This is an industry who employs lots of people and gives a lot to the community pays taxes," Isaacs said.

Now it's in the hands of the City Council and both Lamar Advertising and Scenic Knoxville will be there awaiting a final resolution.

The Knoxville City Council will discuss this issue at their next meeting on February the 26th.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by scottie knoxville Location: knox on Feb 15, 2008 at 07:25 AM
    Lamar needs to go. This type business in on its way out. They are the walmart in the sign business. They hide behind a much needed Amber Alert system. Stop buying from the business that use these signs.
  • by D. Location: Blount County on Feb 15, 2008 at 05:44 AM
    This is true: The funeral home on 321 in Maryville has a digital sign. The Smokies and Blount Memorial Hospital are in the backdrop. This example is an argument why they are not the best way to advertise.


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 15653227 -
Gray Television, Inc.