Protect Millcreek From
Digital Billboards

Recently Millcreek executive staff attempted to fast-track changes to the city code that would lift Millcreek's ban on digital billboards and make it legal to add two more digital billboards at Millcreek City Center (i.e. Millcreek Common), which already has one large Reagan Outdoor Advertising digital billboard pursuant to 40 year lease executed in November 2021. Like the Reagan digital billboard that is already installed on 3300 South, the two additional billboards being proposed (one just south of Crown Burger off Highland Drive and one across from Harmon's off 1300 East) would rotate advertisements every 8 seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and target cyclists, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and drivers traveling on the busy roads surrounding Millcreek Common.

Luckily, by the time City Council was asked to vote on the proposal in April 2024, people had gotten wind of the plan and had reached out to their neighbors and city council members and City Council. City Council smartly rejected the city's call to allow for Reagan to build a digital billboard next to Crown Burger. But, unfortunately they also voted in favor of a new sign code that now makes it legal for the city to enter into another deal with Reagan for the additional Reagan/Millcreek digital billboard the mayor and his staff have been hoping to install across from Harmon's off 1300 East since before they released the city's initial proposal calling for THREE digital billboards at Millcreek Common clear back in the summer of 2021.

We think the one digital billboard already at Millcreek City Center is more than enough. Digital billboards are designed to distract driver's eyes and thoughts away from the road and obviously negatively impact traffic/pedestrian/biker safety. Because of this, we think having a total of TWO large digital billboards on one city block is a terrible idea and an unnecessary and unacceptable public safety hazard.

Despite this and the concern that conflicts of interest related to the Mayor and his law firm's representation of Reagan Outdoor Advertising are significant enough to at minimum make any billboard deal appear tainted and not above board, Millcreek staff and a few other city leaders remain driven to moving forward with their plans. They see no problem with having the same city officials - who with the mayor's blessing negotiated and then pushed for the controversial and ultimately rejected 2021 proposal - oversee the requisition/negotiation process this time. They seem unphased by the mayor's lack of candor to the public about his ongoing affiliation with his law firm and attorney/client relationship with Reagan. They likewise seem unconvinced that there are any issues with mayor's position on City Council and the votes and influence he wields (or could potentially wield) over the continuation and terms of employment the the city staff charged with moving the proposal forward and over the terms and compensation of the contracted city attorney and consultants charged with advising on the city's sign code and proposals involving Reagan.

We need your help to slow things down and bring some common sense into the mix. It won't be easy. Reagan and its paid advocates, as well as Millcreek executive staff and even at least two of the four city council representatives are all claiming that entering into another agreement with Reagan Outdoor Advertising like the 40-year lease executed with Reagan Outdoor Advertising in 2021 will be a beneficial deal for Millcreek. They claim it will allow the city to more effectively promote Millcreek Common and Venture Out! and other city-sponsored activities and also provide a novel opportunity for reducing the square footage of existing static billboards in Millcreek.

There are now wild rumors that Reagan may be willing to remove as many as 10 of its remaining 51 static billboards in Millcreek in exchange for one more highly-coveted and lucrative digital billboard at Millcreek Common. But the 2024 Millcreek staff proposal presented to city council and those discussed between Reagan and Millcreek staff show these rumors to be unfounded and tell a very different story. Like the 2021 Reagan/Millcreek deal, the 2024 staff negotiated and supported plans contemplate Reagan building digital billboards targeting people traveling on busy roads next to Millcreek Common and for the next 40 years selling ad space on them to third-party advertisers (to be displayed just above a "Millcreek Common" marquee) without sharing any of its profits with the city. In exchange, Reagan would remove static billboard square footage at a 3:1 ratio (which is the equivalent of less than 2 1/2 full-sized static billboards to one Reagan/Millcreek Common-endorsed digital one) and also run some ads on Reagan's new digital billboard to promote Venture Out! and other Millcreek city sponsored events targeting those who may have missed their ads on the existing digital billboard just around the corner facing 3300 South.

Advocates of the proposed 1300 East Reagan/Millcreek Common digital billboard claim it would be merely a "temporary" visual blight as opposed to the "permanent" visual blight of the static billboards they would be replacing. But, no reasonable person would describe 40 years as "temporary" and the claim is not based on fact. Does it sound "temporary" when you realize these digital billboards will operate for four decades until 2061 and 2064? Road construction signs (and, yes, even the construction along 20th and 9th east!) are temporary - these digital billboards are anything but temporary. Once a newly built much-sought-after digital billboard is installed it is exponentially more likely it will remain in place beyond 40 years. Whereas, an old existing static billboards are becoming more and more obsolete due to new technology and market demands and worth exponentially less and less and harder to lease out and relatively more expensive to repair and maintain each passing year. Don't believe the "temporary is a good deal" or the "let's go with the lesser of two evils as we have no other options" arguments.

Join with us to speak out against the proposed second Reagan/Millcreek Common digital billboard and in support of transparent sensible, research-informed billboards policies and solutions that seek to protect Millcreek's beauty, financial interests & the safety of those who may want to travel around our city center by car, motorcycle, bike, foot, stroller, scooter and paw in both the near and distant future.


We think digital billboards are a safety hazard that will distract drivers and increase the chance of accidents for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. We've gathered information you can read about digital billboards and traffic safety.

Visual blight

We love the beautiful vistas and viewscapes we have in Millcreek. Digital billboards are a visual blight and incompatible with our city motto: Connected By Nature. Allowing two digital billboards within a single city block is ugly and unnecessary and sends the message Millcreek is Connected to the Outdoor Advertising Industry and their advocates more than to its surrounding beauty and the interests of its residents.


We believe Millcreek's visionary decision to join over 700 other towns in America and ban digital billboards in an effort to protect the environment and the interests of its residents was sound policy when it was adopted and even sounder policy now.

Legal issues

We are concerned that the recently adopted substitute city sign code allowing yet another digital billboard in the city center will make it harder for Millcreek to prevent digital billboards from being installed in other locations in the city and expose us to legal challenges. Now is the time to strengthen Millcreek's sign and billboard ordinances to prohibit digital billboards instead of carving out exceptions that billboard companies can exploit.


Your Voice Matters.


"Hey Millcreek and Venture Out staff: If you think advertising your events using social media, word of mouth, newsletters and the one huge distracting electronic billboard you already have is STILL not enough, maybe you should rethink your events before insisting city council sign off on a second Millcreek Common electronic billboard. Asking to install a known safety hazard in order to better promote your events is short-sighted and irresponsible. Please step outside of your echo chamber and get back to your mission of serving the people of Millcreek."

- Nancy

"Who thinks it is a good idea to install a digital billboard at Millcreek Common that switches out advertisements several times a minute and is specifically designed to capture the attention of drivers, pedestrians and bikers . . . Clearly, someone who either hasn’t considered the safety risks or who has never walked, biked or driven to Millcreek Common or Harmons on that stretch of busy road."

- Nicole, resident of Mount Aire/Woodland neighborhood & bike enthusiast/commuter

" . . . One square foot of a coveted and otherwise outlawed electronic billboard is worth more than its weight in gold to an outdoor advertiser these days, not three or four square feet of one of their old billboards."


Click here to see what other Millcreek residents and friends have to say or to submit your comment