Montana approves digital billboards amid continuing national debate

The Montana Transportation Commission recently voted 4-1 to allow digital billboards along highways in areas zoned commercial or industrial. However, they are subject to a number of restrictions aimed at reducing their distraction to drivers—prohibiting movement and flashing, requiring a minimum display time of eight seconds, limiting brightness, keeping them away from intersections, and setting spacing requirements between signs. While digital signs are getting the go ahead in Montana, they are facing opposition in other parts of the country.

Assessing the Extent and Determinates of Induced Growth (Montana DOT, 2013)

Transportation improvements affect the accessibility of places, which in turn can result in changes in land use in combination with factors that support or discourage development (such as land prices, market demand, local land use regulations, and environmental constraints). Transportation projects alone cannot change surrounding land use. The Montana Department of Transportation has released a report that discusses a legally defensible process for assessing the indirect land use and environmental effects of transportation projects.