Prop. E seeks to limit ads on city property

Voters will decide Tuesday whether to restrict the number of advertisements on The City’s street furniture — kiosks, public toilets, benches and newspaper racks.

Proposition E would prohibit an increase in general-advertising signs on street furniture above what’s been allowed since Jan. 1, 2008.

Supporters of the measure say it will preserve the unique beauty of San Francisco and restrict “visual pollution.” Opponents say
the measure is anti-business and prevents San Francisco from benefiting from a healthy revenue stream.

The City generally contracts with private companies to provide public facilities — such as toilets and transit shelters — and authorizes those companies to sell advertising space on these structures.

“Restrictions on general advertising would affect the ability of some public agencies to generate additional revenue,” according to an analysis from the city controller. The Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, collects about $15 million annually from advertising on transit shelters. It would not be able to expand the amount of advertising if the measure is approved.

The measure was placed on the ballot with four signatures of members of the Board of Supervisors: former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who introduced the measure, along with former supervisors Aaron Peskin and Gerardo Sandoval and current Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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