A beaten path becomes a game trail and the beginning of land use transforms real property into commercial activity. This is evident in the nature, value and characteristics of the property as the population and traffic grow around the thoroughfare. From the number of lanes of traffic to sound barriers, exits, ramps, interchanges, lighting and adjacent buildings the sheer volume of traffic shapes the value and use of real property irrespective of its zoning. You cannot zone a multilane interstate property along an interstate and expect the value to be equal to lakefront. You also cannot deny the value of speaking to the traveling public whether by sign, graffiti, billboard or a computer screen sitting in the window of a building adjacent to a freeway.
The simple fact is that from the first Greek Obelisk and cave dwellings to the new LED digital broadcast media, there is an inherent need and right to communicate with the traveling public if not to inform or advertise or at least to offset the value lost to the property by the traffic and noise associated with being next to the traveled way.
The Supreme Court has made a distinction between commercial and noncommercial free speech. They can be intermixed which creates issues for authorities and their sign codes. An older decision in Metromedia vs San Diego remanded a prohibition against all off premise advertising as it placed a burden on both commercial and noncommercial speech. Many authorities have ignored this precedent and have enacted prohibitive sign off premise ordinances. Many have also enacted code which only allows billboards to be moved or replaced if a legal or grandfathered sign is removed which has created monopolistic opportunities for a number of sign companies. A recent decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert may prove to be the total unraveling of the federal highway beautification act.
Regardless of the outcome, our opportunity is to reshape the industry with out technology. Digital billboards are becoming more pervasive and the cost to buy and operate a jumbo screen has become affordable. The sticker price for installing one and maintaining one is enough to prohibit most people from sticking one in their front yard. And if we can ask our business leaders to become members of our exclusive club and refrain from utilizing displays independent of our nonprofit assembly then we can limit how many locations are built and keep value to the locations that are built. Thus if we have rules and live by them, everyone wins. We the people get our free speech back. Advertising companies create a better product and can convert locations. New combolisk companies will emerge. Businesses will have efficient vehicles for broadcasting their creative ads. The Combolisk organization will provide free broadcast space to nonprofit businesses and to political candidates for free and any excess funds collected from a gross fee collected on the ads will be distributed to nonprofit workers. Everyone wins by managing the inherent use of land.
The other leg of the high court's decision is to recognize the need or value to the community to regulate signage. The problem is that the high court has remanded cases back to local authorities to provide proof for values stated. How do you prove beautification of the need to differentiate between off and on premise when local businesses or shopping centers are allowed to have digital media? The answer to the issue of free speech is in allowing the public to limit its own speech. Herein lies the opportunity for the Combolisk.org to provide the responsibility and accountability to manage itself. And by forging a relationship between government, the public and our business leaders, the opportunity exists to fix the issues which led to the formation of the Highway Beaustification Act.
The value of the community to be proven is the basis of Combolisk.org namely the nonprofit side of the organization that gives back to the community by providing free broadbast space to nonprofits. Each broadcast site will be required to provide every eleventh message to the community. During times of election this broadcast space will be devoted to providing media to political candidates. Thus all candidates will be provided millions of views and instant exposure to the voting public. Combining instant name and face recognition with social media will allow candidates to compete against campaigns with established funds. The only requirement for registered candidates is that they agree to the terms of auto reducing campaign expenses as organized through a spinoff organization, Equalfoot.org.
All nonprofits will be able to utilize the free space on the broadcast sites during non campaign periods. From local public awareness to national nonprofit exposure, the eleventh message space will allow nonprofits to reach out to the traveling public without expense. Combolisk.org will manage the distribution of messages to the system and provide oversight to the nonprofit display space. Since messages rotate every few seconds, many nonprofits can be displayed after each second rotation of the for profit sponsors. Please follow the Rules link for futher information about the nature and organization of Combolisk.org.
The real key to fix the issues which led to the beautification of highways is to realize the people's ability to regulate themselves. No one wants to have a billboard on every corner but we must realize the inherent value in reaching the traveling the public with safe messages with the need to preserve the value in a limited number of locations that have spacing, sizing and development standards. This is where we ask our fortune 1000 business leaders to support and maintain the integrity of the basic tenets of a self organizing Combolisk organization. From providing quotas for establishing minimum and maximum numbers of broadcast sites in a community to the points based system for providing spacing and locations to the management of the overseeing organization to provide development records and proof of performance our goal is to provide a complete system that is managed day to day by a staff and overall by the members. These members are to include the broadcasters, landowners, sponsors and the politicians to provide harmony in the community and a bridge to the people. And if the people provide the backbone to the system by supporting the members that adhere to the tenets of the organization, there will be no need to provide additional constraints which could be challenged on constitutional grounds.
Although no legislation is necessary to challenge many if not all local sign ordinances in order to promote the value of the Combolisk, the opportunity is to reach out to our local leaders and provide a way to challenge traditional thinking and ordinances that are out of balance with the Supreme Court's opinions. This is why the rules for developing Combolisk sites require notification to local authorities before development. And foresight into the opportunity will allow our leaders to provide legislation which can take advantage of the opportunity.
First is the opportunity to manage the transition of billboards/lack of billboards into a quota for the community. The quota system is based on the Combolisk.org rules which reinforce a community's positive response to the opportunity. Additionally billboard companies can recognize the insight into a nationally managed system by Combolisk.org and elect to convert and upgrade billboard or off premise advertising locations to Combolisk. This will provide an organized transition, honor the existing use of billboards while providing opportunities for independent broadcast operators. Like some of the larger real estate holding businesses like railroads, Combolisk.org can provide a national registry for legal billboards to be upgraded and Combolisk sites to be developed as well as real estate which opts out of development by donating to Combolisk. Please follow our Rules link and the pricing page for more information. We also have a link here for proposed legislation to recogize Combolisk.org as the nonprofit registry for Combolisk and legal billboards.
The second opportunity for local governmebt is to utilize real estate holdings to provide space for leasehold interest. The beauty of the digital technology and a length to width national standard is that sites which are closer can be proportionally smaller. Rather then tower above a row of trees to gain exposure to the public or to reduce the size and reduce impact in the line of sight, an opportunity exists to hang over the right of way, locate on structures such as bridges or on the backs of existing highway signs. The right of way does belong to the people and recognizing the use and managing for the good of the people will provide the best opportunity to do what the Beautification Act intended. If we move forward and plan for the inevitable use of broadcast space we can reduce its impact to the safety and visual space of the traveling public.
The responses of our leaders will be recorded on out timeline. Please remember to support those that support the people.
Please follow our links to learn more about the rules and processes for our emerging organization. We also hope that you will join our social media campaigns.
Founder Michael Macgowan Jr.