The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced plans to generate revenue by placing nearly 100 digital billboards throughout the Los Angeles area that critics find harmful to drivers.
The agency’s transit communications and advertising program, approved last week by Metro’s board of directors, would bring digital signs to dozens of streets and freeways in downtown, the Westside, the San Fernando Valley and other areas.
The program has been billed as a way to make traffic move more smoothly by giving drivers public safety alerts and information on bottlenecks. It has the potential to generate $300 million to $500 million in advertising income over a 20-year span, Metro officials said. But that isn’t what digital billboards actually do.
In Inglewood, the city has installed nearly two dozen digital billboards with many of them inoperable since being installed. One happens to be directly in front of a new housing development across from the Crenshaw/LAX rail line at Florence and LaBrea. The apartments haven’t opened to the public yet so it is unclear how those will be priced with a digital sign glaring through their windows.
NONE of the billboards in Inglewood advertise traffic or safety alerts or public meetings (city council or school board). They promote elected official’s events and advertise products for sale to consumers. Many of the billboards are strategically placed in proximity of SoFi Stadium and the Intuit Dome and provide NO alerts on traffic conditions/congestion.
Inglewood saw a mass influx of digital billboards after operator WOW Media pumped tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. who is also a member of the Metro board.
Read more about why critics are against digital billboards here.