Open letter to the Eureka City Council
re: electronic signs
Dear Eureka City Council members,
When it comes to electronic signs, we can argue about the value of commerce vs. urban blight and the loss of Eureka’s historic appearance, but the bottom line in my mind is public safety. If you’re going to allow electronic billboards, you may as well legalize texting while driving. As the CHP and others work tireless to remind us, even a momentary distraction can cost lives.
It may only contribute to one or two deaths a decade, but you can be sure that the added the distraction to drivers will in time likely and unfortunately lead to fatal accidents. While I’m sure the city’s insurance actuary could justify the rare occasional death, your conscience should not.
I hope you will take a somber moment to ask yourself, would even one death be acceptable just to accommodates commerce’s claim that these new signs are both integral and essential to their business?
Are these really necessary?
I’ve personally watched people swerve out of their lane on more than one occasion as they pass the large electronic billboards on Highway 101 down in the Peninsula around the Redwood City area. It can be pretty scary.
Let’s put public safety first.
Sincerely, Richard Salzman (frequent driver through Eureka)
We couldn’t agree more. Driving by Redwood Acres, even in the day time, the extremely bright sign right next to a very active pedestrian crosswalk is extremely distracting. At night it’s almost blinding. This sign stands out as prime example of how bad this can be. We predict unless restrictions are placed on these, their use will spread fast. Eureka, which has one of the worst records for pedestrian fatalities in the state, shouldn’t even be considering legislating a way to have more collisions. The council should be doing the opposite, and trying to find ways to make Eureka safer.
We can hear it now: “What, you’re business only has a poorly lit paper billboard?”