Local

Bright McDonald’s Sign Along Pike An Eyesore For Natick Residents

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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The McDonald's sign sits along the Mass. Pike in Natick.

The McDonald’s sign sits along the Mass. Pike in Natick.

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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NATICK (CBS) – They’re an eyesore for neighbors, but beacons at night for hungry drivers: those giant signs at rest stops on the Massachusetts Turnpike, in particular, the McDonald’s signs.

People who live near them say they are too big and too bright.

“One day when I came home there was this big glow in the sky, and it was like ‘wow,'” said Natick resident Wendy McGoldrick.

It was practically in her backyard, illuminating her home in the evening.

“We didn’t sign up for the McDonald’s sign,” she said.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

Betsy LePain of Natick says she knew it wouldn’t be quiet living along the turnpike, but she didn’t count on the illumination.

“I’m in the kitchen fixing dinner and at the window you can see it right in your face,” said LePain.

The McDonald’s signs are part of a 25-year contract with the state that doesn’t give the neighbors much leverage. But, legislation now under consideration on Beacon Hill would require lights out from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

State senator Karen Spilka, a bill co-sponsor, says it would make the company good neighbors.

“They have an audience that can’t go anywhere else,” she said. “People who stop for gas will get the food.”

Residents also point to signs along the highway that food is ahead. But, in a statement, McDonald’s says the height and glare are needed for drivers making quick decision at high speeds.

Still, the “M” is for menace in many Natick backyards, and they hope McDonald’s will see the light.

“They can amend the contract if they want to,” said LePain.

Once the current contract runs out, the legislation would also limit the size of the signs to eighty feet, and the height to thirty feet.

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