An interesting project from local artist Nina Montenegro is imagining the city without billboards, using a Viewmaster to replace the sight of billboards on North Williams and elsewhere with images of artwork.
The way Montnegro talks about the project in this video is rather precious ("I wanted to form a dialogue with people who wanted a sort of interaction with a wall."), but it's definitely an interesting project and an idea worth considering.
The project ties in to a petition that's asking the city to ban billboards, stating, "Local businesses suffer and residential property values near billboards decrease as our unique Portland character is paved over with corporate messaging." Portland has relatively strict laws about the size of signs, making it difficult to put up new, large ads. But we're not as anti-billboard as, say, the entire state of Vermont, which bans billboards entirely.