City seeks pilot program to increase outdoor advertising downtown

February 04, 2019 07:47 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- If Mayor Lovely Warren gets the green light from the Rochester City Council, you may see advertising in some unexpected places downtown.

The city wants to try a pilot program to increase outdoor advertising, and possibly raise tens of thousands of dollars to fill city coffers. 

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"It comes down to being able to generate revenue to support city services that are not tax dollars," said Director of Communications and Special Events, Justine Roj. 

Roj is talking about selling advertising on city garages and skyways that connect buildings as well as park benches. 

He says these are all high-traffic possibilities downtown that might attract advertisers.

Over the 24 months of the pilot, Roj says the city would "really be trying to figure out the full extent of the inventory that makes sense and also done in a way that's tasteful and doesn't detract from the beauty of our city." 

He estimates that during the pilot program the city could generate a minimum of a quarter of a million dollars. 

However, News10NBC spoke with people downtown who had concerns.

"Personally, I think Rochester is a really beautiful city the way it is. I would kind of hate to see a competition between businesses to get ads in downtown arts areas like this one where a lot of Eastman students live," said Gaia Saetermoe-Howard, Eastman School of Music student. 

"The advertising would be ugly...we don't need that. We're always complaining about billboards now. This would only compound it and for that amount of money, it ain't worth it,"  said Jim Boehler, Rochester neighbor. 

The Rochester City Council would have to approve the pilot. 

It's expected to go to committee this week and be voted on by the full council by the end of February.


Lynette Adams

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