Billboard Proposal Does Not Account for Busway

Tonight is the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, along with public hearing, regarding — among other things — a request for a special permit to install a changeable electronic billboard in sight of an already congested segment of I-84.

The full PZC staff report is available to the public, but there are several key factors missing from the report. In it, there is no mention of the busway, which will be adjacent to the parking lot in which this sign would be constructed.

Hartford’s municipal code regarding the Advisory Commission on the Environment states:

There shall be a policy to ensure that the City of Hartford and its policy makers do all things necessary and appropriate to eliminate, to the extent possible and for the benefit of the residents of Hartford, all existing and potential environmental health hazards.

One of the goals of this policy is “To look for opportunities to institute city policies and procedures that will decrease pollution and improve the quality of the environment for our citizens and particularly our children.”

Installing a sign that both distracts motorists and contributes to light pollution directly violates this code. The sign, proposed by the Hartford Courant, would add another eyesore to Flower Street, currently home to a vacant building, the viaduct, and the newspaper’s loading docks.