Takes issue with calling street furniture ‘visual blight

To the Editor:

Re: “Transportation committee asks for ‘hold’ on bus advertising contract” (Argonaut, Aug. 11):

The city of Los Angeles is umpteen millions in the red and a member of the Transportation Advisory Committee has the gall to suggest that the contract with an outdoor advertising firm – which will not only benefit Mar Vista but surrounding areas (to say nothing of the benefits it will bring to bus riders) – should be delayed for 60 days?

Get real. Bus shelters aren’t “visual blight,” they are great conveniences for thousands of bus riders daily.

Were the committee member to ever wait 20, 30 minutes (or more) on a broiling summer day at an unenclosed bus bench, he might just sing a different tune.

Personally I think the outdoor ads are informative and actually quite clever in many instances, whether the product be a new computer, an upcoming movie or a mobile electronic device.

If he is so worried about “visual blight” let him walk down McLaughlin Avenue on the west side of the street between Washington Boulevard and Washington Place sometime and look at the abandoned house with weeds six-feet-tall growing out of the shrubbery, or the house several doors further south with a giant sign in front announcing it soon will be torn down and converted into “luxury condos.”

That’s visual blight: (not to mention the two big empty lots at the corner of Washington and Centinela Avenue or the empty lot that used to be a gas station at the corner of Sawtelle Boulevard and Washington Place).

Bill Bell, Mar Vista