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Residents furious over signs at Verizon Center

10:47 PM, Oct 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The streets around the Verizon Center are no strangers to the bright hustle and bustle that defines one of D.C.'s most notable entertainment districts.

But it is what now hangs above these streets that has some at odds.

"It's distracting. I find it dangerous...I am always wondering when I am crossing the streets if the cars are going to be looking at the signs," said Nanette Paris, an upset resident.

Nanette Paris lives in the area and says the new digital billboards displaying full motion advertisements for the venue's sporting teams and events are just disruptive.

According to her, they create light pollution that bounces off windows and right into her condo.

"When they are at full blast it reflects off many building blocks away," she said.

Clearly the issue with the brightness of this signs are a big problem for those who have to work and live in this area, but it's not the same case for those trying to run businesses here.

"I think they add a lot of excitement," said Ray Voigt of the Redline. "A lot of ambiance to the neighborhood. "I think we have a lot of young talent on our sports teams and it showcases that."

Angry residents along with Verizon Center executives met Monday night at an ANC meeting to discuss the issue. Randall Boe is the chief counsel for Monumental Sports, the company in charge of the Verizon Center and according to him these signs were approved by the city council and the neighbors.

"We've actually consulted with neighbors about the designs and we have altered the designs," he said. "We've made all sorts of changes to the operations...so yeah we are always willing to listen."

Right now there is no indication that these screens are coming down. The best that can happen for those who don't like them is that the folks running them agree to small changes in the brightness and the times in which they run.

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