Roadside digital mural will lead to accidents

Roadside digital mural will lead to accidents

That image is the new headquarters of WGBH, the public broadcasting powerhouse that originates in Boston. The building sits next to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton, and in fact, juts out over the highway. Over the past few months they’ve been doing some work on the side of the building and just this week switched on a giant “digital mural,” which the rest of us would call a TV billboard. To be sure, this isn’t broadcasting TV shows, but it is showing moving images.

Does anyone else think this is a bad idea? I drive this route every day and yesterday was the first day it was switched on. There’s a straight stretch of highway headed eastbound just before it, about a half mile long. That thing is jumping and moving and is distraction from the road. How long before the first accidents caused by driver distraction? Didn’t anyone think about this?

I’m also worried about the trend. How long before regular billboards are replaced by jumping and moving video images designed to distract even more? Do-gooders are trying to ban cell-phone use while driving. Is that more distracting than a video billboard?

Whatever the intent, this is just more visual pollution and a road hazard.

P.S. Last week, while they were testing it, the mural was displaying a gigantic yards tall and wide Microsoft Windows error message. I wish I’d photographed it. I can’t wait for the first blue screen of death.

Photo by Jeff Goldberg/Boston Herald

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli