A few days ago, I shared a story about the new “Share the Road” billboard campaign in Portland.
As I suspected in that story, the billboards are the work of the Portland-based office of Clear Channel Outdoor. The manager of that office is Brad Parsons. I spoke with Brad the other day to learn more about the origin and plans of Clear Channel’s Share the Road campaign.
According to Parsons, he wanted to get involved after reading about a recent spate of headline-grabbing bike/car run-ins; “I thought, what could we do as a company?”
“As a corporate citizen, we have an opportunity to serve the public and I thought it was an important message.”
— Brad Parsons, Clear Channel Outdoor
Parsons realized they had some unsold billboard inventory and figured that billboards were a perfect vehicle to reach both drivers and riders.
“As a corporate citizen,” he said, “we have an opportunity to serve the public and I thought it was an important message.” Parsons asked around the office (which includes a few bike commuters as well as car drivers) and they decided that ‘Share the Road’ was, “an important message whether you drive, bike, or walk.”
As for the graphic design, Parsons said he’s read the critiques here on BikePortland but says they just wanted to make it as “basic as possible”. “We wanted to keep it simple and put out the clean message to just Share the Road.”
Parsons says the billboards will be up from anywhere from one to four weeks at any specific location and that they’ll be removed as the boards sell to a paying customer.
But, during our conversation, Parsons was enthusiastic about continuing to work with the bike community on traffic safety campaigns.
He said he’s open to someone continuing this campaign by purchasing the “paper” (what the graphic is printed on) and applying their logo. The paper would cost $50-80 a piece and Parsons says he would not charge for the billboard rental (usual price is about $1,000 a month).
If any business owners or non-profit groups out there want to sponsor one of these billboards to help keep this campaign going, get in touch with Clear Channel Outdoor in Portland by calling (503) 232-3111 and ask for Brad.