Photo: C.M. Guerrero
“A cutting-edge network of interactive digital kiosks for Miami-Dade’s transit system may cost passengers an old-fashioned perk: shelter from the rain and the sun.
Outfront Media, the company that builds county bus shelters in exchange for selling ad space on the structures, recently warned it may have to abandon the venture if a rival company installs as many as 300 Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks at bus stops across the county. The kiosk company, Civiq, won a deal in January to spend about $20 million bringing the technology to Miami-Dade at no charge, partly in exchange for selling ads on the nearly 10-foot-tall pylons.
‘We understand that the objectives of the digital kiosk program are fantastic — to provide free Wi-Fi to transit riders,’ Outfront lobbyist Michael Llorente told county commissioners at a recent hearing. ‘But I can assure you that if that program is funded by essentially cannibalizing some of our top-producing bus shelters, a lot of those riders are going to be surfing the Internet under the sun and the rain. Because the money is simply not going to be there for the bus shelters.’
County vendors often warn of financial ruin if the government allows competition, and Outfront has millions invested in its near-monopoly on advertising throughout South Florida’s public-transportation system. It already wraps national brands around Miami-Dade Metromover cars, county buses and on placards at all Metrorail stations under an exclusive contract approved in 2015…”
–Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald
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Photo: Leah Powell
Bill Brinton has spent a lifetime as a protector of unspoiled views. He has successfully battled local, state and national forces bent on visual assault caused by installation of outdoor advertising and other unsightly intrusions.
He believes in the power of citizens to take a stand for the irreplaceable resources that matter most. Because of his foresight, you can be part of a mobilized citizenry that ensures our scenic surroundings for generations to come.
Bill chose to mark the 30th anniversary of the successful Jacksonville City Charter Amendment banning new billboards and removing more than 1,400 existing billboards with the creation of the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville.
When fully funded, this endowment will enable Scenic Jacksonville — also celebrating its 30th anniversary — to continue its vital work to preserve the breathtaking views we cherish and provide support for new projects that enhance our much-loved home.
It is Bill’s vision to raise $300,000 for the endowment, which is held at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. His dream is to see it provide perpetual funding for the things he holds most dear: civic engagement, advocacy, and education.
He’s eager to involve the next generation by sponsoring photo and essay contests to instil a love of our natural surroundings in young citizens.
There is so much more we can do together if we rally around Bill’s visionary leadership and ultimate victory over unsightly signage.
For more information about the fund, please contact Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida at(904) 356-4483 or email@example.com.
To contribute to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment to Protect and Enhance Scenic Beauty in Jacksonville, go to jaxcf.org/donate and enter Scenic Jacksonville into the Search box.”
Save the Date: May 17 for a Celebration in Jacksonville
Visit the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Video: Mark Young, Bradenton Herald
“Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director Ingrid McClellan has been involved in a lengthy battle to rid Manatee County of unsightly and ‘illegal’ advertising benches scattered along state roadways, most being near Manatee County Transit Authority bus stops.
‘We think it’s taking too long,’ said McClellan.
Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director Ingrid McClellan says Bradenton is not doing enough to eliminate ‘illegal’ advertising benches and calls for corrective action.”
Photo: Mark Young, Bradenton Herald
“Tampa-based Metropolitan Bench is making about $144,000 a year from the advertisement benches. Their contract with Manatee County expired in 2012 and the final benches in unincorporated Manatee County were removed just days ago. Those benches are now piling up within city limits.
Bradenton also has a contract with the company that dates back to 1971. According to Public Works Director Jim McLellan, ‘whoever negotiated that contract did it differently than the county’s and it didn’t have an expiration date or give us an out clause.’
McLellan said the city’s position is they want them gone, but staff must review the contract to determine how. McClellan said if the city reads the initial proposal requirements and enforces its land use regulations, the issue would be resolved. Requirements include that the benches not be angled toward the roadway by more than 30 degrees, that they not interfere with the right of way and they not be placed on grass.
Most of the estimated 144 benches are in violation of the requirements. MCAT is not allowing the benches to be placed on their concrete pads at the bus stops, so many of the benches were pushed off onto the grass.
‘It’s misleading to bus riders, too,’ said McClellan. ‘Technically, a bus doesn’t have to stop if riders are sitting on those unauthorized benches…’
The contract requires the company carries liability insurance; in 1971, that was $350,000. A typical event organizer will pay for a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance today. McClellan said the company was also required to submit applications to the city for each bench placed, ‘and there isn’t a single application on file.’
She said if the city would enforce its own rules, the benches would be required to be placed on their own concrete pads, which would require a permit through FDOT, which isn’t likely to happen. The only option for the company would be removal, she said.”
— Mark Young, Bradenton Herald
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Visit Keep Manatee Beautiful website