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From the New Geography blog, I see that San Francisco is considering corporate sponsorship of the Golden Gate bridge:

Now, I think this is an excellent source of revenue, certainly preferable to taxation. But it raises a question in my mind: Why haven't cities resorted to selling off naming rights to highways and such as a quick source of revenue? I certainly wouldn't care if I drove on the Pepsico Expressway or the Dan Ryan, and if it meant Chicago could build some decent roads for a change or lower the 10%+ sales taxes, who wouldn't be for it?

I proposed this to someone once, and his objection was that companies wouldn't want to be associated with the negatives, with news reports of "Traffic was backed up for two hours after a family of four was killed in an accident on the Walmart Freeway." But I don't buy this explanation. Politicians seem to love having their name adorn roads and don't think of the "negative" associations. I don't see why it should be different for corporations, nor do I see why Chicago should think it wise to tie up a potential "asset", the naming rights to a freeway, worth millions to honor Eisenhower or Kennedy.

So what's the deal? Why are corporate naming rights so accepted for sports facilities (often owned by the city), but not for highways?

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Maybe the hacks want to keep

Maybe the hacks want to keep the facade of public spiritness rather than "crass consumerism". Or perhaps more fundamentally so the pols can enjoy the monopoly of doling out contracts to their pals for their private benefit and public sponsorship would perhaps mean more transparency.

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

I think my favorite

I think my favorite corporate sponsorship is this one. Ride the Walrus.

As a libertarian I'm against

As a libertarian I'm against all non-consensual forms of advertising.

The act of driving is

The act of driving is consensual.