Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hate Those Billboards?

I guess I'm one of the few that don't. People have been complaining about the billboards along the highway between Arcata and Eureka for some time. Seems to me there used to be a few more than there are now, but I'm not really sure. Now it looks like there's a possibility of the rest of them being taken down.

I hardly notice them. There's not all that many. I probably won't notice if they disappear. Thing is, I have to travel fairly regularly. I've think the signs can be a useful heads up. I don't know that I've ever seen a billboard for a particular business and gone to that business because of it. I just like putting that info in the back of my mind for future use.

What would you do if you're traveling, decide you're hungry or need a hotel, but you're somewhere you've never been before? Billboards and other signs along the highway can help you out.

But that's just me- loneliest guy in the world. I'm sure most everyone else hates them.


At 9:42 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

They're being banned on more and more roads now. One of the first was 280 between San Francisco and San Jose. I don't notice them either, though I might notice them on a beautiful stretch like that one.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't notice them? I notice every billboard between Eureka and Arcata and can't miss it when a new advertisement goes up. It's good name recognition for a national brand, but I'll never buy or patronize the local businesses that use billboards (with the exception of the Bayshore Mall... it's sort of hard with that one because a single ad snares dozens of stores that don't necessarily support a landlord's ad campaign).

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I think I'm filtering them out. I wouldn't be sad to see them go to tell you the truth.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they are a slice of Americana. I love to see them in other towns when I go traveling. I think what you have here is folks want to see the beauty of the natural environment surrounding the bay. Even though it's pretty much a mud pit most of the time from the highway point of view. (Eye of the beholder?) When billboards are done well, they can be a great addition to a town. But, I think it is just another of those things the new residents of the area want to leave behind in the Bay Area and LA.

I do wish the Ford dealers and the the motorcycle stores would not use national advertising for their billboards, but that's how business works. Well, and there you go. I sure did enjoy it when Green Party candidate Doug Thron thrust his up on the highway next to Bracut Lumber. But again, a bit of Americana. And you know we can't have that.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I go traveling to a metropolitan area where else am I going to turn for soft porn displayed in public?

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God knows I'll be glad to be rid of that er billboard

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Americana? It's massed produced crap for the most part. Americana requires some home grown creativity.

On the other hand there is that John Birch Board with the reactionary messages that used to be posted on 1-5 at Chehalis in Washington State. Wasn't there the last time I looked, and I missed it. :&(

And then there's the "Get us Out" John Birch billboard in Ukiah that points to a right wing bookstore that no longer exists.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I'd be hard pressed to remember just who is advertising on the billboards between Eureka and Arcata. I think I just see them out of the corner of my eye but what they say doesn't register in my mind.

I got to thinking about it and I think the first time we stayed at the Discovery Inn in Ukiah might have been the result of their billboards on 101.

We were weary travelers in a rainstorm and needed a place to stay. Knowing where the Discovery was made it easy to decide where to stay.

Of course, in Ukiah, I think you'd find a place fairly easy just taking any of the off ramps, but some places aren't so easy. You can see a number of hotels from the freeway in Ukiah as well.

As an aside, I've noticed some hotels and restaurants have billboards up to 100 miles from their location, which I think might be next to useless.

Then there are some I think are just about rude, in a way. Just outside Hopland, to the south, I noticed there's a couple hotel signs. One for Ukiah and I think one in Willits(?).

I can't help but wonder how the few overnight places in Hopland feel about that? On the flip side, it might be helpful to someone who's leery of staying overnight in a dinky town like Hopland. At least they'd have some idea of what's up the road and where they might stay.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

But Fred, that can be accomplished with those blue boards that just have the logos of the businesses at the freeway offramps.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look for them when I am traveling, too Fred, and it does make a big difference in deciding where I will stop, where I can get food for the kids, etc. I used to love the billboards designed by Allpoints. Many of them were works of art. I know the Finnish Hot Tub and Sauna gets a great deal of their business from their billboard on 101, and I would wager Leon's also does.

They tend to be a disaster for political candidates like Thron and Danny Walsh though, they are too impersonal maybe.

101 is a major thoroughfare and we are supposed to be tourist friendly, banning billboards will just make it less likely someone will stop in our lovely town of Eureka.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ferndale has/had a billboard in Arcata. It's kind of saying, "Nothing to see here. Keep driving south."

The local ads I recall from recent memory are Hotel Carter and one of the Overhead Door companies (there are two with strikingly similar names)... and a car dealership (that one is wasted on me. I only see the car, not the dealer's name). And that hot tub place in Arcata. I've seen them so long I'm probably still seeing them after they are gone.

I would like to see the billboards gone just because we already see too much advertising everywhere in our lives. A nice peaceful drive would be nice. The "obscures your view of the bay" is a red herring though. Humboldt Bay is ugly, whether you're viewing the development in Samoa or staring at a steaming, smelly field of mud at low tide. Isn't it sediment from logging that filled in Humboldt Bay? Looking at the old mooring piers in Arcata, it's hard to imagine the bay used to be deep.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sediment from logging? It's just a natural filling in of the bay.

You can see where the bay used to be clear over by Freshwater Corners at one time and all along Old Arcata Road. Christ, when are we going to stop blaming logging for all natural occurances. Did we blame the potato growers of the Eel River Valley in the 1870's for the filling in of the Eel River. They used to bring schooners all the way up to Fernbridge. Port Kenyon, why was it called that?

My great uncle painted a painting of the Van Duzen drainage....er, sorry headwaters, back in the early 1900's. In his depiction, there was an obvious landslide on the hills above. They didn't start logging that part of the country until after World War II.

Yes, the bay has been diked and filled in and channeled from many years of useage. Our bay was a great industrial bay at one time. We had several shipyards, whaling stations, and lots and lots of timber and fishing industry use. We haven't had that kind of industry for nearly 50 years and still the bay is filling in. There isn't that much sediment coming down from Jolly Giant Creek.
If there is, then blame it on the logging in the Arcata Community Forest.

The natural landscape is changing constantly whether by man's usage or not. I can't wait until 50 years from now when the next generations can blame this generation for letting the bay fill completely in by stopping all industry on the bay and letting nature take it's course. Then we can have a billboard at the confluence of 299 and 101 that says "Visit the Humboldt Estuary Salt Flats National Preserve....The Home of Burning Man 2057"

Geez, I hope Charles Hurwitz dies soon, so we can be done with this.

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the Mad River used to divert into the Bay and used to keep it clear or at least flushed. The Corp diked it up in the 1930'S? Anyone out there familiar with this?

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh 6:23, so in the course of less than 100 years Arcata Bay went from a deep water port to mud pit. Sure. Let's call that "natural filling."

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Eric wrote, "But Fred, that can be accomplished with those blue boards that just have the logos of the businesses at the freeway offramps.".

Agreed, and I don't mind those. But think if that became the norm: There'd be so many businesses listed, you couldn't make heads or tails of it.

As an aside, I think it was Healdsburg we saw one of those government signs at. We were hungry and wanted something to eat.

So, we take the offramp, looking for some food place. Couldn't find a thing. That didn't work.

Nothing against those blue signs, but they're no panacea either.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Fred said...

7:14 wrote, "Don't forget that the Mad River used to divert into the Bay and used to keep it clear or at least flushed. The Corp diked it up in the 1930'S? Anyone out there familiar with this?".

Yes. I understand the Corp of Engineers diverted the Mad River from going thru Arcata.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Fred said...

5:36 wrote, "The local ads I recall from recent memory are Hotel Carter and one of the Overhead Door companies".

Hotel Carter was at least one of the billboards I saw around 80 to 100 miles south of here.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like knowing where there are hotels ahead, when I'm driving and tired, I get a feel for how long I can go, and still find a place without having to keep going when I shouldn't.

So, again, the billboards are a welcome sight. If you don't like them blocking your view of the bay I suppose you could get them all relocated to the other side of the freeway. What do they really hurt? They've been there as long as I can remember, and probably long before then, and they were here when the new transplants mentioned above chose to come here and they didn't stop them then, so, it's a stupid thing to be worried about if you ask me.

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

The Allpoints produced signs on 101 are some of the few hand-lettered billboards left. Billboards for our local businesses are very cool, but who would miss the billboards for Dodge trucks and Cingular cell phones?

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the car dealer who buys the billboard space has a right to choose the message he wants there, just as he does when he buys an ad in a local paper, or on TV or radio. If Harper Ford pays for the space and puts the truck ad up there, to deny him that right is simply censorship, politically correct censorship. I don't know if anyone does hand painted signs anymore, painting billboards was bonechilling miserable work, and then the winds would come and blow the thing down. Eh, I'd rather see a neat sports car than the truck, but hey that's just me.

At 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of person goes on a long trip without a clue where he'll be staying that night, depending entirely on billboards to dictate where he stays? I guarantee you are not the type of person to stay at Hotel Carter. Try Motel 6.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I don't stay at Hotel Carter. But I do look for Best Western, and no, I don't always plan ahead. Sometimes, I set out and think I can drive all the way, and along the way I get tired, so I look for a place to stop. Other times, I just set out and figure I'll stop where I want to and let the adventure play its way out. Only once has that not worked out, when every hotel in a 200 mile radius it seemed was full because of the Sears Point race, and that led to a really great place much farther than I had intended to go.
That's a pretty elitist tone you have there.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Carol Ann Conners said...

There was an in-depth article in the Humboldt Historian in one of last year's issues regarding the diversion of the Mad River into Humboldt Bay which did cause the north bay to silt-in.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Speaking of bay trivia, not sure if I mentioned this here before:

You know those bluffs on the east side of Broadway in Eureka? The ones across from Harbor Lanes and such where houses and apartments sit atop what look like cliffs?

I was told by someone in the know that those "cliffs" weren't always there. The ground used to be a gentle slope all the way down to the bay.

Then, back in the early 1900s(?, or was it earlier. I forget) they leveled it out to what we see today: the flatland of Broadway with the cliffs just to the east.

What did they do with all the soil they excavated?

Dumped it into the bay. Or so I was told by a guy who owns property at the top of those cliffs who was, in turn, told that by some geologists he consulted.

Kind of hard for me to believe that, after having that much dirt dumped into the bay, there'd be any bay left.

I'm wondering if they meant "just outside the bay".

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably used to fill the Balloon Tract.

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's it, all residents of European descent are ordered to leave at once. And while you're at it, tear down the cities and towns on your way out. Oh, except the environmentalists, with their take everything back to Pre-European contact, you can stay.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fill for wetlands. Everything west of Broadway is fill. Even the Balloon Track.

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neely and LaValle are getting paid to bring in ex-prisoners , homeless and drunks into Eureka . Go to ; RCAA HUMBOLDT COUNTY PETER LAVALLE .
Goldfish ...........your the same ole' crap we've had for 4 years .


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