Welcome to Scenic Saint Paul!

Scenic Saint Paul is concerned citizens dedicated to developing an attractive and prosperous city by controlling billboards and other intrusive advertising. Our Chair is John Mannillo and our Director is Jeanne Weigum.

Please join us by submitting your name on our Contact page.

Window Signs in Saint Paul

Saint Paul City Council regulated oversize and distracting signs in commercial store front windows. Read about the issue!

Where Are The Billboards in Saint Paul?

You don't need to look very far to find one in Saint Paul! In a census taken in 2010 it was found that Saint Paul still has 474 billboards. This is extraordinarily high and far surpasses the number in Minneapolis and is more than any other city in Minnesota . Here is a map of the locations of all Saint Paul billboards. Give this PDF file a minute to download. See our Issues page for more billboard maps.

New York Times on Digital Billboards

The Times (March 2, 2010) summarizes the arguments over the digital billboard, "television on a stick." It is part of the paper's Driven to Distraction series (and therein lies the tale of traffic safety!). Read more.

Digital Billboards

Billboards are advertisements. They are designed to grab our attention, and hold it, just like a television or radio commercial or an ad in a magazine. The latest in billboard technology—the digital or electronic sign—tries to hold our attention even longer by changing messages and pictures every few seconds using a series of extremely bright, colorful images produced mainly via LED (lightemitting
diode) technologies.
Common sense tells us that if we are looking at a billboard and not at
the road when we are driving, that’s a dangerous thing. Brightly lit signs
that change messages every few seconds compel us to notice them, much the same way our eyes move to the television screen when it’s on. They lure our attention away from what’s happening on the road and onto the
sign. It’s just human nature. And it works. That’s why these signs are so
incredibly lucrative for the billboard industry.
Proponents of digital billboards say nobody has ever proven that they
increase traffic accidents. This statement is only partially true. Some studies
have shown a link between digital billboards (as well as static boards) and
traffic safety problems, while others remained inconclusive. Importantly,
no objective studies have shown them to be safe, nor have studies been
conducted since these signs have started to proliferate.
What does the research currently say?
Read more