I Love Those Portable Signs

August 28, 2012 at 1:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Scattered around Lincoln are a few permanently-affixed electronic signs. There’s one at 27th and Old Cheney Road, for example, visible only to westbound traffic. Although you’ve probably seen the signs around town, there’s a very good chance you’ve rarely (if ever) seen one turned on. The signs have been a giant waste of money.

Contrast those permanent signs with the portable electronic signs scattered throughout town right now. They are intelligently placed and they provide up-to-date, relevant information to a large swath of the local population. They can be moved or removed any time the City desires. Presently they provide information about the drought and local water restrictions. They’ve also been used to warn about upcoming special events (e.g. the Lincoln Marathon), to notify neighborhoods about upcoming meetings (i.e. road construction open houses), or for other relevant uses. Their flexibility more than makes up for their aesthetic shortfalls.

The permanent signs? They’re useless so much of the time that when they are turned on it’s practically a cause for celebration on local Twitter feeds.

Going forward it’s obvious which communication method is the better bang for the buck. No more permanent electronic signs please, Lincoln. Let’s go with what actually works.

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Nebraskim August 30, 2012 at 2:37am

I have it in my head these are mandated by the stupid Amber Alert/Silver Senior Alert laws. They can be remotely and nearly instantaneously set by Law Enforcement, unlike the temp/portable signs. Is there any evidence that Amber Alerts work? I always tune them out but I am never around kids.

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