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City reaches deal to remove billboards many saw as eyesores

Bishop William Barr said that he was grateful for the commercial billboard that stood high above his church's property in Northeast Washington.

"That sign has been there even before the church was here," Barr said. "We got about $2,000 a year for it to be there because they use our electricity."

The money helped helped finance the church's work with the homeless.

But what was a blessing to the members of the Holiness Community Church at 3rd and K streets N.E. has long been considered an eyesore by other residents, and earlier this week the neighborhood won out. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that the District reached a settlement agreement with Clear Channel regarding the removal of five billboards -- four located at the intersection of New Jersey, 4th and P streets N.W., and one at 3rd Street and K streets N.E.

"These billboards have been a source of frustration for the residents of the Mount Vernon neighborhood for years," Fenty said in a statement. "We are excited to see them come down today and that an agreement could be reached so quickly without unnecessary time, expense or further litigation."

For decades, residents in Wards 2 and 5 have fought to get the billboards removed. Ward 2 community leader Cary Silverman said he wrote to city officials to complain about ten billboards in his community.

"These billboards for years have given the impression to motorist that they were on a highway," said Silverman, who singled out one sign at New Jersey and P streets N.W.

Clear Channel began removing the billboards on Tuesday and will complete the removal by Monday. In addition, Clear Channel will take down all supporting posts for the billboards by the end of the month.

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  December 18, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Hamil R. Harris  
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Comments

"These billboards for years have given the impression to motorist that they were on a highway,"

Really?

Like Times Square?

Posted by: gary4books | December 18, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

...............................................................................
"I think that I shall never see, a billboard lovely as a tree. Indeed, unless the billboards fall, I'll never see a tree at all!"

Ogden Nash
................................................................................

Posted by: Towards_Light | December 18, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I have been living in DC all my life . I remember as kid the sign at New Jersey Ave, NW and P St.,NW was there . Now, I am in my early 60's . I thought that I was travling old No. 1 Highway in Virginia on my way to grandmother's house . Every Saturday , I went to the market at 7th & O Sts.,NW with mother . I am happy it is gone . It is about time. Yes, it was an eyesore . The trash , etc were on the grass there. If it had grass there , it need cutting . I think that sign was removed because of the new people moving into the community . It sure was not the long time residents doing it . You have new group of people in the Shaw Area. What people had put up with then and now , if you are in the right group. You can get action from the DC government ! ! !

Posted by: goofer52 | December 18, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

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