The battle of the billboards started in 1965 when Lady Bird Johnson championed a law aimed at banning billboards “to preserve (the) natural beauty” of the nation’s open roads. Not only did the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 not work — it hasn’t been cheap. Taxpayers paid about $214 million to billboard owners as compensation for taking down the outlawed billboards. In the mid-1980s, the city of Miami and the county waged an all-out effort to limit billboards along highways. The Dade County Commission adopted an ordinance limiting to 10 the number of billboards allowed along the west side of I-95 in Miami.  The ordinance also banned almost all billboards within 200 yards of expressways.  To this day, none of these efforts have thwarted cash-strapped cities and Billboard companies attempts to sprinkle enormous ads along the Miami skyline and natural landscape.

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