Bicycle Billboards: Good Or Bad?

Bicycle Billboards in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

I spotted this guy cruising down Emmons Avenue last week. Though abundant in Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn, it’s the first time I’ve seen a bicycle billboard – or any mobile advertisement – in our neck of the woods. So it made me wonder about the neighborhood impact if more of the bipedal bulletins show up on our streets.

On the one hand, it appears to be a “green” alternative to other forms of mobile advertisements, like truck-side advertising. And it’s more affordable for our local small businesses than traditional billboards, boosting our local economy.

But I’ve heard complaints about this form of advertising before. It contributes to “visual pollution,” man-made impediments to enjoying a view. The issue of outdoor advertising is so pervasive in Manhattan that critics say it’s dulled our perception of a once beautiful city, creating a power shift from creativity to consumerism.

They may also add to congestion, since these unwieldy bikers will want to be seen on bustling commercial corridors. Their wider frames could clog bike lanes, putting cyclists in danger.

So what do you think? Are these advertisements bad for the neighborhood, or do the benefits outweigh the problems?


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