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Staff asked to explore community videoboard downtown

Mayor Goldring, myself and the Burlington Downtown Business Association have been approached by a local business offering to install a video message board somewhere in the downtown. The cost to the city would be free; revenue would be generated by selling advertising on the message board. The city would have a negotiated amount of display time on the message board for community messages (for example upcoming events, road closures, seasonal messages).

The city’s current sign by-law does not allow this type of installation in the downtown. We would like to explore the feasibility of this idea further. I presented the following staff direction at the March 30 Development & Infrastructure Committee meeting:

Direct the Director of Planning & Building to report back to committee on the feasibility, desirability, location and process of procuring and installing a community videoboard in the downtown.

Update: This staff direction narrowly failed 4-3, but the BDBA and others are working to see if that vote can change for the April 20 council meeting to allow this to proceed.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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  1. A video billboard will contribute to the distracted driving concerns our governments and communities are trying to curtail. Video billboards by design, size, bright vibrant non static stimuli, grab attention more efficiently as well as hold attention for a longer period than traditional static billboards.
    These video billboards are a cause for concern. Especially inappropriate in a bustling downtown core where foot, bicycle and vehicular traffic share closer proximity. The core, as well as other neighbourhoods, have many intersections and crossings. I fear that more incidents of distracted drivers running the intersections and crosswalks will occur.

  2. I would really hate to see this happen. It’s the thin edge of the wedge and permitting one will lead to more. We do NOT want our downtown looking like Dundas or Times squares.

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