City Desk

Cleaning D.C. Streets, One Billboard at a Time

To hear Theresa Sule tell it, the year-long campaign against illegal billboards in D.C. has finally paid off.

Originally authorized in 1931 for a period of three years, the boards on New Jersey Avenue and P Street NW have remained in place illegally for an impressive 75 years. But Sule, ANC 2C commissioner, says a few of them will soon be carted away.

Sule calls the offending billboards "unattractive," and believes their removal "now...leaves the place open for other uses for the public."

One blogger on renewshaw.com noted that the controversy is not simply a question of taste:

The problem is not the billboards, its the illegality and the fact that someone is profiting from slumbanking vacant property. this is a big problem in various locations in DC, there are big billboards & small. For example the giant sign on the side of 555 Mass ave is perfectly legal and affixed to an occupied building, ok fine. but the billboards on NJ are on a vacant lot, get littered with trash, provide cover for vagrants and enable someone to substantially profit from vacant underutilized property.

The hunt continues.

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