Public Comment

Just Say No to "IKE" Kiosks in Your Neighborhood

Carol Denney
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 10:45:00 PM

Who among us lucky enough to live in a charming mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood Berkeley doesn't want the sidewalks cluttered with enormous glowing screens that flash ads all day? 

What? Not you? Even if "IKE" offers an "interface" that collects your information if you use it? No? What a disappointment this will be to the Economic Development Department and the City Council, both of which honestly thought you'd be thrilled. And if you write and phone to try to protect your neighborhood you'll be told maybe if you make a good case at a meeting somewhere someday and the room isn't full of "IKE Smart City" shills you can avoid having one planted where you see it from your bedroom window --maybe. 

Unless you're 4th Street. 4th Street's representatives seem quite sure they'll never have to put up with the big, glowing "way-finding" screens in their lovely, carefully designed and aesthetically congruent area. They're not sure how it happened, but they just said no and somehow it took.  

So don't worry if the Economic Development fellow tells you there's no "opt-out" policy for the passionately disinclined to participate. There is. They just would prefer that you don't know about it because they already signed a contract to plant these things all over town and if you don't want one they end up with two in their front yards. Those of us who somehow weren't invited to the initial meetings about this extraordinary electronic imposition, these sidewalk ad-flashing billboards, are really hoping they all end up in the mayor's front yard. After all, he signed the papers.