This column is reprinted with permission from the Urban Environment League Blog.
The examples Developer Mark Siffin uses to justify his twin LED Media Towers, Times Square, London, Tokyo, etc; don't pass muster. None of these places, as well as many other major cities, have the intrusive impact that his project will have. Let me give you some examples:
In Time’s Square for example the signage is confined in an area that goes from 42nd St to 45th St flanked by 7th Ave on the west and Broadway Ave on the East. With the renovation of 42nd St., the signage has extended along 42nd Avenue between 7th and 8th Avenues. In either case no sign is above any building height.
On the other streets surrounding this area the only other signs are the theater and hotel marquees. And on Broadway Ave as well as 7th Avenue beyond 42ns ST South and 45th St North there are no more illuminated signs. It can be seen in the photos that beyond these limits are dark.
Times Square facing south
Times Square facing north
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Tokyo, Same thing happens; the illuminated signage is restricted to a restricted commercial area, and never going above existing structures.
London, Piccadilly Circus-The illuminated signage is restricted to the Piccadilly Circus surrounding buildings and not to all of the building, because no signage is allowed on buildings of historical significance.
Paris at dawn, no visible signage and the tallest structure still is the Eifel Tower
I can go on and on, no mayor cities on the world have the signage Siffin has proposed to do. All these places have their own character and history like we do, Miami is a great place, we have our own character, and we do not need, in my opinion an oversize advertising icon to pollute our city. Miami is not Las Vegas.
And just as a comparison, the Washington Monument with 555 feet high, it is about the same height, once these LED intermittent light structures are in place. These full blast illuminated structures three times and twice wide each than the Washington Monument, is what we will see in the night Miami Skyline if this project gets build.
Flatrion Building, NY, at 287 Feet height is roughly 100 feet shorter than the proposed signs. Now, imagine this full blast and with intermittent lights all night.
When we want to be inspired or at peace, and we do indeed need these, we go to a museum or a walk in the park, etc, and we do not want to be intellectually or other wise bombarded with advertising.
Can you imagine a multi screen advertising hanging from the Arch du Triumph in the Champs Elise, or in the Roman coliseum? I think not; well; we need to think of our public spaces with the same respect wherever they might be, keeping our environmental space in a way that inspires us, because it is our home.