BILLBOARDS OR TREES
Trees on public land should be left alone.
Last month, Lamar Advertising Co., which owns "more than 363,000 displays" across the US, clear-cut all but a few short ornamental trees in the public right-of-way (ROW) between I-65 and S Floyd St, in Old Louisville, where they intersect with East Saint Catherine St. And 155 more trees from the ROW by Bradley Park in the St. Joseph neighborhood. Compare the "before" and "after" images above.
Lamar got permission from the Ky. Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) under its new rules that make getting a permit to cut trees on public land much easier and cheaper if they block visibility of their billboards!
KyTC expects the other billboard companies imminently to apply for more permits to clear-cut all the trees on public ROW along all interstates within Metro Louisville -- and eventually throughout Kentucky -- whereever the trees block their billboards.
Watch this report by WLKY.
Listen to this report by WFPL.
Please click Jim Gray, Secretary of the Ky. Transportation Cabinet, to send email ASAP to ask him to put a moratorium on issuing more permits to the billboard companies to cut trees on public rights-of-way until there can be more public input from the local community and our elected officials.
Please copy email@example.com and, better, your metro council member, which you can find here.
Use your own words to say why any of the following concerns matter to you:
The climate needs all the noninvasive trees it can get, especially after recent storm losses.
The people who live near the highways need protection from the noise and air pollution. (Diesel exhaust is classified as a carcinogen.)
These trees belong to the public.
Our urban heat island needs all the trees it can get, especially our more mature trees.
Unlike billboards, trees improve property values, peace of mind and urban liveability.
Ask your family and friends to join you by lending their voices, too.