APA Provides Expert Member for
International Outdoor Advertising Team
The Federal Highway Beautification Act is now 45 years old, but the Federal Highway Administration is still searching for ways to meet the spirit of the law.
The latest effort in that search involved a traveling team of experts representing the agency plus the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Outdoor Advertising industry, Scenic America, and the American Planning Association (APA).
Jeff Soule, FAICP, APA's Director of Outreach and International Programs, had previously served as an advisor to an FHWA-sponsored effort conducted by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in 2006. The institute's report, completed in January 2007, has led, among other things, to a series of educational workshops for state highway officials and review of organizational relationships. That final 2007 report may be found at www.ecr.gov/pdf/oac.pdf.
With his prior experience on this issue, Soule was asked to join U.S. Department of Transportation team to represent the public interest and APA. The team spent two weeks in FHWA's Scan of Outdoor Advertising survey to see control schemes from five other countries.
The team looked at a variety of issues in Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Scotland, and England. Among them: laws, regulations, policies, and enforcement; community and citizen involvement; project management; environmental impacts, economic benefits, and revenue generation; and safety.