Critics say Old City advertising is an eyesore

    They’re calling on SEPTA to take down ads that are wrapped around the entrance to the subway at 2nd and Market Streets.

    There’s a battle involving Red Bull, SEPTA, and Philadelphia residents at Second and Market Streets in Center City.

    This is how Mary Tracy, the Executive Director of the Society Created To Reduce Urban Blight, describes the Red Bull advertising covering the entrance to the subway at Second and Market Streets:

    Ads covering entrance to subway at 2nd and Market Streets

    “It’s an outrageous takeover of the public space. I mean it’s just in your face covering fairly new public transit building.”
    Close up of ads

    Plus, Tracy says, the Old City advertising violates the city’s zoning code.

    But SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says he doesn’t believe the advertising’s illegal.

    “We have been really ramping up our advertising throughout the region because of the potential funding that’s gonna provide us. It was one of the dictates given to us by Act 44 by the state legislature – we were to enhance our advertising for the funding that’s made available. This particular ad at 2nd Street is bringing in $90,000 of income that customers aren’t going to have to put in the fare box.”

    The ad is scheduled to come down next month.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.