Heartfelt congratulations must go out to the N.C. legislature, the billboard advertising industry and the N.C. Department of Transportation. Working together, they have now virtually completed the elimination of the public’s trees near billboards on our state’s highways that serve our tourist visitors.
With the cutting of so many large trees, billboard advertising has been safe from pesky vegetation interfering with the industry’s use of the roadways to sell advertising for decades to come. Nonconforming billboards that were supposed to come down under the provisions of the Highway Beautification Act have been given new life, particularly when combined with the nonenforcement by the DOT of regulations regarding rebuilding of these old billboards.
Of course, the billboard companies still have to pay a fee of $200 to destroy the public’s trees even though each sign generates several thousand dollars in advertising each month, but hopefully this burdensome fee will be eliminated soon. Now that they can fully enjoy the beauty of the billboards along North Carolina highways, tourists will certainly flock to our state in greatly increasing numbers.