The billboards along the I-35W expansion north of downtown are potentially holding up the construction project. The city council approved a compromise allowing firms owning the billboards (ClearChannel) to relocate a sign along the North Freeway/Tollway if they removed four others in more "scenic" areas of the city.
I suppose there are objective standards for what constitutes a "more scenic" part of town, and that no politics are involved, but I didn't see any reference made to the safety aspect of large objects scientifically designed to distract drivers' attention placed at strategic locations along stretches of high-speed roadways populated by drivers texting, talking, drinking coffee, putting on makeup, shaving, yelling at kids, etc. The new signs are likely to be the electronic ones that change messages and images just when the driver/reader has finished absorbing the previous one, assuring that attention is diverted more or less continually while the sign is in view.
It seems to me that the money saved on emergency services and damage to infrastructure due to collisions caused by distracted drivers over the life of the new roadway would more than offset the cost to the city and the construction companies involved of removing these signs through existing legal means. This is surely about more than aesthetics.