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Franklin Institute Given Dubious Honor Of Being Allowed To Have Universally Disliked Digital Signage

Franklin Institute Given Dubious Honor Of Being Allowed To Have Universally Disliked Digital Signage

  Photo: K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia

Photo: K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia

Whereas not so long ago, it looked like digital signage all over Philly would be a Councilman Mark Squilla-sponsored fait accompli, NIMBY outcry (sometimes it’s a good thing) coupled with a new bill out of Harrisburg has created a refreshingly new climate of hey-not-so-fast. But that doesn’t mean a few here and there won’t still squeeze through. After a long tug-of-war, the City of Philadelphia has dropped their opposition to the jumbotron of GIFs the Franklin Institute wants to have. But the City is using the occasion to send a message that’s clear — they’re not into these things, and certainly not on the Parkway, of all places. From their press release:

“Under the terms of the settlement, the City will drop opposition to the sign.  In return:
1   The Franklin Institute will limit the brightness of the sign in consultation with the Commissioner of L&I following installation;
2  The sign will be equipped with an “automatic light sensor” to adjust the illumination of the sign when in operation;
3  The message on the sign will not change more frequently than every 30 seconds;
4  There will be no strobe lights, flashing messages, flashing images or scrolling messages;
5   The sign will be turned off between 10:00 p.m. each night and 6:00 a.m. the following morning;
6  The content of the sign will be limited to programs, exhibits, features, and activities of the Franklin Institute
“This agreement in no way means there will be more electronic signage on the Parkway,” said Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis. “The arrangement protects the Parkway and doesn’t turn it into the Las Vegas Strip.  More importantly, the City has formulated new regulations to prohibit such signage elsewhere on the Parkway going forward.”

The Franklin Institute has been lobbying for the sign since 2012, so don’t be surprised if it goes up soon.

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