The Post Dispatch has a short editorial bemoaning a new piece of legislation a Missouri legislator has submitted which would reduce the minimum separation between billboards from 1,400 feet to 950 feet. That means it would be possible for there to be what the paper says 32 percent more billboards.
Anyone remember when Lady Bird Johnson worked to decrease what many felt was highway clutter with all the many billboards? She helped pass the Highway Beautification Act, the federal government has used the threat of withholding federal highway funds from states that fail to adequately control the size, spacing and lighting of billboards.
Now Missouri house bill 317, if passed, would reduce the distance between each billboard from 1400 feet to 950 feet. Many property owners in rural Missouri are for this since they derive some income from the advertising on their land.
I am one of those people who is not bothered by highway billboards and I actually enjoy them when I have to be in a car driving for miles and miles across the state or states with nothing much to look at. They give you an idea of what might be head, places to eat, places of historic or fun interest etc. When I was a kid our family used to drive to Florida every year to visit my grandmother and aunt and uncle. As an adult we've made the drive from St. Louis to Chicago to visit family myriad times. It was those billboards which made the long boring drive palatable.
If the Post Dispatch can clutter up its website with so many ads you can't find a story without moving video ads, loud audio, ads which slowly cover up a story just as you begin to read it, ads on the side, top and bottom of each page, then a few more billboards out in the middle of Missouri shouldn't be offensive.