Fort Wayne City Council is considering implementing electronic signs as part of the city's Gateway Plan. The signs would display information on conventions in town and Amber alerts, but not everyone is behind the plan.
The city has been discussing how to make major entrances into town more appealing. A perfect way, according to For Wayne City Council President Tom Smith, is by using electronic signs. Smith introduced the idea tonight at the city council meeting.
Now while you may have seen electronic billboards in Fort Wayne, like the ones on Coliseum Boulevard and Illinois Road, the signs Smith is speaking of are a bit different. These would be used strictly for informational purposes. For example: major events going on, like the upcoming Vera Bradley Outlet Sale or even Amber alerts.
The signs would be placed at major entrances into the city, like on Ardmore Avenue, for visitors to see when they're coming in from the airport. Although, Smith says the signs would be geared towards both visitors and current residents.
Discussion over implementing electronic signs isn't just happening here in Fort Wayne. Recently Arizona's governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed the signs in the state. Meanwhile, similar discussions are being held in North Carolina.
Smith tells WFFT that the move makes sense given the prominence of new technology in our society.
"I think this could be something that could be very beneficial to the city. We'd be one of the first cities in America to have something like this, particularly when there's emergency information to be disseminated" Smith says.
Smith is proposing using part of the Light Lease money to pay for the signs. The task force has not yet decided what to do with the nearly $80 million.
Not everyone, though, is on board with the idea of putting up electronic signs. Some believe that the signs could be distracting to drivers, thus increasing the number of accidents.