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Posted: October 25, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Our thoughts... Bombared by billboards

If you have had the opportunity to spend some time traveling our nation’s interstate highway system, you know that it travels through some beautiful countryside. Depending on what state or community you are traveling through, that drive can be aesthetically pleasing or utter ugliness with billboard after billboard.

In some areas these billboards are so plentiful and so close together that even if you wanted to read what they said you couldn’t. Some can be so distracting that accidents occur more regularly near them than in other areas.

We are glad that Newton County officials have enacted ordinances that limit the construction of these eyesores.

Local business owner Jack Morgan, who owns 18.11 acres along the I-20 corridor in Newton County, currently has three signs located along the highway promoting the 18 businesses that lease his property.

Mr. Morgan wants to move and upgrade these billboards, adding more than the allowed number on one side.

We understand why Mr. Morgan wants to do this. We certainly support local business, but adding more blight to our nation’s highways is not the answer.

Technology is making the use of billboards just like the use of printed Yellow Pages — a thing of the past. Most motorists now have GPS systems or at least printed directions from Google or Yahoo that will direct them to the business they need.

We urge the commissioners to stand their ground on this issue. If you allow one to bend the rules, more people wanting to do the same will come out of the woodwork.

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