High-tech’s visual impact
Anyone who enjoys the efficiency as well as the
frustrations of high-tech on the blink knows that 21st century
gadgets have Janus-like faces.
This has become clear to Bellevue’s City Council as it
grapples with the arrival of eight wireless communications companies
seeking sites for their transmission antennae.
On the one hand, wireless transmission antennae mean the
benefits of more communications links for businesses and consumers who
rely on the marvels of speedy wireless services.
But antennae could also mean excessively tall
strobe-lighted towers that mar the area’s sensitive landscape.
Sensible planning for the future requires that Bellevue’s
council members, as well as policymakers throughout the Wood River Valley,
give weight to the visual impact of any proposed structure and protect the
Of two suggested antennae siting plans in Bellevue, the
one requiring installation of separate antennae on existing utility poles
in light industrial areas is the most reasonable and less objectionable.
The antennae will blend with existing poles.
The idea of a single, large site for a cluster of antennae
has its obvious visual drawbacks.
If, in time, utility poles are removed in Bellevue and
service placed underground, the likelihood is that a new generation of
wireless technology will have developed an even less ugly transmission
device to replace today’s antennae.
That’s the principal strength of American technology:
when confronted with problems, wizards think of creative new solutions—especially
when they must.