To People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- or PETA -- Boulder County seemed like the perfect place for its pavement advertisements: The county, known for its healthy and animal-loving populace, needs money to repair its roads.
But area motorists won't be driving over the pavement ads featuring curvaceous women holding "Go Vegan" signs any time soon.
"I think it's kind of a funny PR stunt," said George Gerstle, Boulder County's transportation director. "But it's not something to be taken seriously."
After hearing that the county needs $25 million to repave 150 miles of roads in subdivisions, PETA officials sent a proposal this week offering to help pay for some of the resurfacing costs if the county agrees to let them stencil ads on the roads. The proposed ads would feature a silhouette of a curvaceous woman holding a sign that reads, "Word on the Street: Go Vegan! PETA."
In a tongue-in-cheek response to PETA's offer, Gerstle said, "We have cut all the fat and we're into the meat, but I don't think we're going to go after the broccoli.
"I don't think we're so desperate to sell ads on the roads," he said. "That's not really the type of county we want to be, where we have advertising everywhere."
The county has asked residents living in subdivisions whether they're willing to pay $130 a year for the next 15 years to get their roads repaved, and PETA spokeswoman Ashley Byrne said her organization believes it has a "win-win" solution.
"Especially since Boulder is a place where people are environmentally conscious and healthy and compassionate toward animals," Byrne said. "It's definitely a city where people are going to be enthusiastic about finding out more information about a vegan diet."
Even if it starts with an advertisement on the pavement, she said.
"It would be providing a public service that wouldn't just be fixing the roads but helping to improve people's health," Byrne said.
PETA didn't state a specific amount of money it would offer, but Byrne said the group is open to negotiation.
She said PETA has made similar offers to other communities facing pothole problems, including Omaha, Neb.
"But we haven't actually been able to work something out to do this yet," she said.
In PETA's proposal, officials state that "every Boulder resident who sees PETA's street stencils and goes vegan will save more than 100 animals a year from the cruelty of the meat and dairy industries."
County spokeswoman Barb Halpin, speaking on behalf of the Boulder County commissioners, said they think it's an "interesting" idea, but "they're not going to be considering PETA's proposal."