Oakland City Council Rejects Proposals for Digital Billboards Along 880 Freeway

August 13, 2014

On Tuesday, July 30th, the Oakland City Council in Closed Session, rejected the proposals from Foster Media and Iris Media (co-owned by Oakland Port Commissioner Michael Colbruno) for 8 more additional digital billboards along Highway 880. All Council members present voted to reject the billboards with Councilmember Kaplan abstaining. The proposal had been making its way through City departments for many years and was the first time since July of 2012 that the Council has voted to enforce its own billboard ordinance that was passed in 1998. 

Karen Hester, co-founder of Scenic East Bay notes, "The overwhelming majority of the council has made clear its commitment to stop blighting our City with digital billboards that are a driving distraction and drive down property values. The vote puts the nail in the coffin on additional billboards and makes clear the desire to clean up the City and our image that we have been working so hard to promote."

The win is the latest in a series of victories for anti-billboard campaigns in the state. The people of the city of Albany just defeated a proposal to finance a city building with an electronic billboard. San Francisco has outlawed new digital billboards. The City of Los Angeles was forced by a court order to darken 100 billboards last year. 

This year Scenic East Bay, along with coalition members Sierra Club, Bike East Bay and others, also won a partial win by pressuring CalTrans to enforce regulations which forced Foster Media to withdraw 2 of its 5 applications for billboards that would have blighted the new Bay Bridge. CalTrans has approved billboards 3 of the 5 billboards but Scenic Bay is still exploring the legality of one of the approved locations.

To see a brief slideshow of digital billboards and their ill effects visit:

Contacts: Karen Hester, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 510-654-6346 
Naomi Schiff, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., work 510-835-1717 cell 510-910-3764

Founding members of Scenic East Bay,