They're becoming more and more common all over the area, but one area town plans on making them a no-no.

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The town of Guilderland has been reviewing, what they say is, the problem with digital signs in the town for over a year. The town board has had a moratorium on any new electronic billboards in place for a while and they recently voted unanimously on a draft resolution that would ban programmable electronic or video signs.

The reason for the ban is because the signs are believed by some to be distracting to drivers. Town Supervisor Peter Barber says the town is likely to adopt a full ban:

I’m leaning towards prohibiting these signs until we get some better data. At this point, I think there’s enough concerns about driver inattention that’s caused by these signs. I know it’s mostly for the variable message signs that are on billboards and whatnot, but I do think it’s applicable to these signs.

If it gets through all the proper channels, the sign ban could become effective in a month or so. Businesses that already have digital or programmable electronic signs won't be impacted, they will be allowed to keep theirs.

A couple towns, New Scotland and Bethlehem, already have similar restrictions in place.

Soooo, what if a new business, let's say a gas station, opens up on Western Avenue, does that mean they can't updated their gas prices digitally? Would this ban also apply to new fire departments and EMT centers? They often have digital messages regarding their number of calls, upcoming fundraisers, and volunteer salutes. I dunno, it just seems like a strange thing to restrict.

[Times Union]

Crossgates Mall in Albany Opened in 1984

This is what the Crossgates Mall looked like when it opened in 1984.