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Metrolinx's LED Mega-Billboard Proposal

Huffington Post • Driven to Distraction: The Absurdity of Roadside Digital Billboards
Torontoist • Our Transit Agency Shouldn’t Be in the Business of Endangering Drivers

What you need to know:

1) Metrolinx and Allvision have proposed eight massive LED billboards for the 401.

2) The Toronto Paramedic Association and the Ontario Paramedic Association have both sent letters to Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking her to stop the Metrolinx proposal.

3) There are currently no LED billboards on the 401.  This proposal will set a precedent, opening the floodgates to digital billboard advertising all through North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough.

4) City staff recommended against all eight signs. "Due to the size, height and proximity of the proposed signs to Highways 401 and 427, the proposed signs do not appear to meet the nine established criteria for a sign variance to be granted."

5) The Metrolinx application relies on three reports by CIMA consulting, in regards to traffic safety. But in July 2014, the reports were heavily criticised by an industry expert - someone who was used as a primary source in the reports!

6) The application states that none of the eight billboards will be visible from residential properties. This is false. The signs are visible, from close proximity, from front yards, back yards, from inside houses and apartments and from green spaces. (photos)

7) On June 19th 2014, the Planning and Growth Management Committee voted to "delete the staff recommendations" and approve the signs.  Three weeks later, City Council ratified that decision - despite their knowledge of the Jerry Wachtel report and the incorrect information in the application.

8) The final decision will be made by Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.

9) You can help make a difference. E-mail the minister, subscribe to our newsletter for updates, and share this webpage with your friends!

Questions we should all be asking:

1) Why is Metrolinx, a provincial transportation body, proposing bright flashing digital billboards that are designed to distract drivers' attention from the road?

2) Why was a provincial government body lobbying Toronto City Councillors to ignore the recommendations of municipal staff?

3) Why is a provincial government body lobbying the Ministry of Transportation to circumvent safety guidelines for highway signage?

4) Why is there false information about sight lines and visibility in the Metrolinx application?

5) While other municipalities are trying to reduce billboard clutter in public spaces, why is Toronto City Council going in the opposite direction?

6) Knowing how LED billboards on the Gardiner have effected residents in Liberty Village... why would we make the same mistake on the 401 and 427?

Links + Resources

1) Application from Metrolinx & Allvision to install eight commercial LED billboard on the 401.

2) Staff report, recommending refusal of all eight billboards.

3) The Committee decision, to "delete" the staff recommendation and approve all eight signs.

4) Letter from City Councillor Joe Mihevc, to Minister of Transportation Steve Del Duca.

5) Letter from ABC Residents Association

6) Information about digital billboards & traffic safety

7) Provincial regulations about billboards on highways