All aboard against the billboard

It’s time for community interest to be considered before self-interest. We are seeing a groundswell of Asheville residents responding to the digital billboard installed on Merrimon Avenue; more than 370 people have signed a petition demanding that the digital billboard be removed.

Support this effort by signing the petition to remove the billboard on Merrimon Avenue at

Merrimon Avenue is inappropriate for digital billboards due to the dense residential neighborhoods on all sides, and thus [it] is not a true commercial corridor. The billboard’s visual distraction also represents a safety hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists, which is one of the many reasons other cities have banned such billboards. Nearby residents and businesses are concerned about the scale of the sign, which was placed on a front lawn of a house now zoned for business, and the sign’s impact on property values in the immediate area.

Asheville residents cannot wait until 2014 when the city’s agreement with the billboard company is renegotiated. Our community will soon make their feelings known not only to the property owner where the billboard is sited, but also to Fairway Outdoor Advertising and all businesses that choose to advertise at this location.

— Alan Escovitz


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

12 thoughts on “All aboard against the billboard

  1. Asheville Dweller

    Deal with it, its a big thing called the future, Asheville can’t stay in the 70’s for ever.

  2. Bugg

    Where were these NIMBYs when these billboards went up in other parts of Asheville?

  3. Asheville Dweller

    They are getting a little to close to the Holy Land of Down Town Asheville. Now its time to Rah-Rah .. . . . Remember Asheville Doesnt exist past the Tunnel or Haywood road.

  4. J

    Alan is incorrect. Merrimon has been designated a true commercial corridor by the all wise city council. The theme for Merrimon has become “move over residents – make way for city council mandates!”.

    Expect more density, electronics, and wisdom of city staff.

  5. Asheville Dweller

    Its something different its not a piece of rust art/junk, or crappy B/W photo, or even a Mural so its hated.

  6. slycos

    Just fyi Long Shoals and Tunnel Road also have these lighted billboards (they’re LED, right?).

  7. slycos

    …Tunnel Road meaning near the Red Lobster etc. Apparently there’s one near Cocula according to another comment. That should make at least 5 around town that I’ve read.

  8. uh-oh

    While I have many concerns about the effects of advertising on society in general, I have great difficulty getting worked up over one particular item. Maybe a link to illustrate the billboard would help.

  9. dpewen

    I can’t believe the attention this billboard is getting … geeeezzz people it is just a billboard.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.