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Bucktown Residents: Electronic Billboard Is Gaudy, Annoying

(CBS) – A Bucktown billboard is annoying the heck out of a lot of people. They say it's just too big and too bright.

CBS 2's Mike Parker pays a visit.

"It's like living in the Vegas strip," says Sandra Johnson.

She has lived in Bucktown for more than two decades and has seen it blossom into one of the most popular neighborhoods in Chicago.  Now she says, thanks to that new digital billboard, "all we need is the dancing girls and we'll be all set."

The huge, bright animated sign is one of 34 approved by the City Council two years ago.

"It's a nightmare," says Steve Jensen of the Bucktown Community Organization "The entire neighborhood is upset. We fought this sign for the past year and a half. It's too big, it's too bright, and nobody wants it."

The cash-strapped Emanuel administration cut the deal for the signs with the JCDecaux company. The city expects to make $150 million over 20 years.

Bucktown's alderman voted "no" with a handful of others.

"We get the blight, we get the neighborhood problems, we get the devaluation of properties, and we get a bad deal for the city," 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack says.

The mayor's office says the billboards are in compliance with all laws.



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