PennDOT Takes Over Control of Philadelphia’s Outdoor Advertising

Scenic Philadelphia recently attended a briefing in Harrisburg regarding  PennDOT’s transition plan for the state’s takeover of billboard control in Philadelphia which was approved by the Federal Highway Administration on December 3rd.

In April the state revoked Philadelphia’s Outdoor Advertising Certification after the City Council passed legislation allowing towering 3-D billboard structures in Center City.

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State control will prevent signs like this from being built in Center City.

PennDOT immediately issued a moratorium on alterations to city billboards until new governing rules could be established. PennDOT is currently creating an inventory of city billboards, which they expect to complete by July 1. All signs on that inventory must be properly permitted with PennDOT. If a sign is found to be unlawful removal action will be taken within 30 days. This could result in a number of signs coming down and be a great boost to our city’s visual character!

There are several other positive aspects to PennDOT’s takeover, but the bottom line is that billboards in Philadelphia will be subject to much more serious scrutiny, and violations dealt with much more quickly than they were under city control.

Click here to read the Federal Highway Administrator’s Letter of Agreement.

This change is a huge step forward for those of us who care about how billboard blight negatively impacts our city, and Scenic Philadelphia has been pushing for this change for nearly 20 years. We are ecstatic about what this means for our city’s visual environment and we are grateful for the support of friends like you who make our work possible.