On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the people in San Francisco City and County voted on Proposition D; a proposition that would create a new special district and allow general advertising signs in the Mid-Market Street are between 5th and 7th Streets. Proceeds would go into funding youth arts and culture education, along with building and operating a ticket booth at (Market and Powell Streets) for sale of tickets to art, entertainment and cultural venues.

 

The proposed special sign district would be more than a collection of billboards, but would be populated with spectaculars, including; roof signs, wind signs, wall signs, video signs, moving parts and rotating signs. In addition, any illuminated sign would not be limited in any manner as the type of illumination and L.E.D message centers and Jumbotrons would be allowed. There is mention inside the legal text of Proposition D, that; “digital signs of the highest quality digital media should be encouraged“ and “signs that are part of a national campaign for products permitted to be advertised in the sign district should be encouraged before they are exhibited on signs elsewhere.”

 

Neon and spectaculars in Las Vegas, the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, and New York’s Times Square are often people’s first impressions of these cities and clearly capture the enormous amount of pedestrian traffic’s attention. I voted against Proposition D, as I felt that San Francisco is of a different pedigree than other cities, and that adding the advertising before making over, and cleaning up Mid-Market Street is a flawed idea, i.e. people need something else to be drawn to as a destination other than lights and the Warfield and Market Street Cinema Theaters.

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