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State Politicians Want Joint Meeting on Digital Billboard

Paul McMurtry and state Sen. Michael Rush's chief of staff appeared in front of a skeptical Westwood Board of Selectmen on Monday.

Rep. Paul McMurtry and state Sen. Michael Rush's office are calling for a joint meeting with Clear Channel and town officials in Westwood and Dedham following a Westwood Board of Selectmen meeting this week about the construction of at the University Avenue MBTA station.

McMurtry told that he wants to make sure the issues are heard by state officials, as are the concerns from both towns.

Clear Channel made a presentation to the Dedham Board of Selectmen earlier this month, but haven't formally given their pitch to the Westwood officials.

Clear Channel's plan calls for the construction of a digital billboard with a "slideshow" design, which would rotate advertisements every 8 to 10 seconds. 

The sign would be 14 feet by 48 feet, Clear Channel representatives have said.

As perks, the media company would offer to either take down three vinyl billboards in Dedham, or pay the town $25,000 a year for 25 years.

John Regan, Michael Rush's chief of staff, wants a joint meeting with officials from both towns, and acknowledged that McMurtry is sending a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Regan cited the safety study on other signs that has yet to be completed as a hurdle that needs to be cleared.

"We want to be assured of the safety of our constituents," Regan told the Westwood board.

Sandra Donato July 22, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Hmmm, that name sounds familar.......any connection? http://www.laweekly.com/2010-03-18/news/the-mad-men-of-los-angeles/
Greg Agnew July 28, 2011 at 06:47 PM
I think it's a smart idea for both the Westwood and Dedham Boards of Selectmen to join forces and discuss this massive project proposed by the MBTA. However, I also applaud the MBTA's willingness to come before the Dedham Board of Selectmen to lay out their plans, even though it's MBTA property, not governed by either Westwood or Dedham, MA. Clearly, a "light show" broadcast all over the Westwood and Dedham portions of Routes 128 South & North is a dangerous distraction to motorists. Even though billboards like this are present and considered the norm all over the West Coast (especially near Nevada and Arizona), us Northeast residents will be far too stunned by these massive "televisions." Hopefully, once again, both the Dedham and Westwood governing bodies will decide that in no way will the MBTA be able to increase their annual revenues by planting one of these monstrous billboards in our own backyards, causing a potential driving hazard. Freedom to do what you want on your own property is something I will certainly support, however, making our frequently traveled highways into a flashy commercial strip is something neither my neighbors, nor myself can support.

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