Reader: Multi-tainment center sign dangerous to drivers

By Brentt Graeb

December 20, 2012 - 10:21 am

Since the opening of the new complex next to the Ak-Chin Casino I have noticed it has become quite popular, but the thing I have noticed a lot more, because that’s what they want, is the giant screen facing the northeast on the side of the building that shows what movies are playing and promotional information.

In its current arrangement and configuration, the sign is visible from the curve of State Route 347 passing M Mountain coming from Phoenix in the evenings. The glow is that bright, it seems as though a spotlight is shining at you from a distance.

It’s the brightest thing on the horizon by a major extent. No doubt its purpose is to grab attention, but many times now I have been momentarily blinded driving past it during the night. It will be on a darker image and then flash to a white image and with such intensity I’m blinded hundreds of feet away.

I have also seen oncoming vehicles swerve or veer in their lanes when I have been headed northbound, and at the same time, noticed their windshields glowing literally from the intensity of the reflection of the sign.

It either needs to be removed, or the brightness dialed down by at least 50 percent during the night. It is my concern it will eventually lead to a head-on collision when someone is blinded by it all because the new project wants to be seen from space. The reflection of the light can even be seen in neighboring fields, on brick walls in the bordering neighborhood, and it causes all kinds of reflections and shadows among traffic passing through the area due to its diagonal direction of face.

I believe if the sign had been placed perpendicular to traffic so it was never pointed directly into your field of view it would not be so bad since the brightest point of the light would be beside the road, not in it.

When you pass directly dead center in front of the sign, if you have been driving in the dark, it literally blinds you to the point of rubbing your eyes sometimes. I urge MPD, in association with the Ak-Chin, to remedy this problem before someone gets hurt, or worse, killed. 

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