BE OUR GUEST: Fully against highway billboarding
I WANT to address certain accusations made regarding my personal and professional opposition to billboarding on the landscape of Barbados, as made in a recent edition of your paper.
While Environ Ltd has demonstrated a commitment to the environment and scenic landscape of the island with our project called Adopt-A-Stop, which provides bus shelters with advertising from sponsors, I do not endorse billboarding.
My company through Adopt-A-Stop has provided a public amenity at no cost to Government for 20 years. Environ Ltd has always worked with Government and with communities to provide a locally manufactured solar-powered, traditionally designed shelter with litter bin. Out of principle and because billboarding was contrary to the law and visual sensibilities of Barbados (Town and Country Planning Act 1985 Cap 240), I have never attempted to launch a billboard project.
In tourism-based economies in the United States, such as Maine, Vermont and Hawaii, anti-billboarding policies have improved road safety and maintained the visual amenity of destinations.
In most jurisdictions, town planning legislation addresses different types of structures and commercial signage. In North America, for example, there is often a distinction between a structure such as a bus/transit shelter and an outdoor advertising sign or billboard.
A bus shelter is considered a structure, not a sign. It is a free-standing structure which has a small footprint and is located on a bus transit route, which is designed to accommodate embarking and disembarking bus transit passengers. The primary purpose of bus shelters in Barbados is to provide seating and shade for 70 000 Barbadians and visitors using the bus and PSV transit system daily.
A billboard is a type of sign which consists of a rigid off-premise sign, display, or device, usually free-standing, that is left on or fixed to the ground or to a building. The primary purpose is to display advertising posters.
As for my personal and professional interests, I have overseen the planting of over 2 000 trees in public areas, such as palms on the ABC Highway and fruit trees at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. I have also installed unbranded benches in numerous scenic areas for the public to enjoy.
I am committed to Barbados and will continue preserving and creating spaces where Barbadians and visitors can enjoy their surroundings.
Barney Gibbs in an environmental entrepreneur and the owner of Environ Ltd (Adopt-A-Stop).