As Kentuckians enjoy the final weeks of a beautiful autumn, we'd bet that not one average person has thought, "Ah, if only there were some electronic billboards, this landscape would be perfect."
Or, "Gee, I wish I had a clearer view of that billboard through the colorful foliage."
Kentucky's comparative success at controlling the proliferation of billboards along its highways is a great asset, allowing the state's natural beauty to shine through for residents and visitors.
The Beshear administration says the regulations on billboards must be updated to avoid the risk of losing highway funds by being out of compliance with federal standards.
That might be true. But Kentucky does not need electronic billboards — those giant flashing distractions on a pole — or to allow billboard companies to remove trees or foliage from publicly owned land, including highway rights-of-way.
Both of those blots on the landscape would receive the state's seal of approval if the administration's proposed regulations, which come before a legislative committee Thursday, are enacted.
The Interim Joint Committee on Transportation should send the Transportation Cabinet and the billboard industry back to the drawing board with a mandate to protect the public's trees and views.