Digital billboards likely not coming to St. Johns County

Some say signs along I-95 are good idea, critics say signs would be distracting

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A proposal to bring digital billboards to St. Johns County hit a snag Thursday when the county's Planning and Zoning Agency left a two-year pilot program out of its recommendations for sign regulation changes, according to a report from the St. Augustine Record.

Supporters said the signs are a good idea, especially for safety alerts when a child goes missing, but critics have argued that they may be distracting on the highways and too costly. 

During a meeting Thursday, the agency considered an amendment pushing for the two-year pilot program, which would allow the new billboards to go along Interstate 95. But the Record reported that the 5-1 recommendation for changes to the Land Development Code left the digital billboard component out.

Several drivers, who did not wish to speak on camera, told News4Jax that they thought the new signs would be distracting.

Others disagreed.

"No. What distracts me is people on cellphones and all that stuff -- texting," said driver Darrell Giles. 

Traveler Elaine Ehlers also said she thought the digital billboards could be a good idea.

"I'm from Punta Gorda, and on I-75, there are some electronic billboards. They advertise when there's an alert for a missing child or missing at all," Ehlers said. "That's not distracting. It's information."

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