EDITORIAL: Residents divided on allowing signs along highway

Some say it’s an eyesore and safety hazard, others say businesses have right to advertise

Drivers are bombarded with neon signs on their way into Stettler and the town is grappling how to handle the complaints they have received about the signs. Some argue the signs are distracting and unsightly. There were concerns brought to council that the signs could distract a driver and cause him/her to hit a child because there are signs close to the school.

The Stettler Independent conducted an unofficial online web poll about the issue for a week and the results were interesting – if not entertaining.

The question posed was: “Should the Town of Stettler allow portable signs along Hwy 12 through Stettler.”

The three choices for an answer were: 1) Yes. Businesses should be able to promote their businesses. 2) No. They pose a safety hazard. 3) What signs? I didn’t notice any signs.

The poll results showed a division of opinion.

There were 103 votes with 58.25per cent against signs, 39.81 per cent in favour and 1.94 per cent not noticing the signs.

Here are some of the comments.

“How are these bothering you? Has there been an accident? Maybe we should take the gas price signs down too. Those are very distracting.” – Kris

“No other town has their entrances and main road cluttered. They are distracting, far more so than phones. They compromise the beauty of our town. I say no to any signs that are meaningless.” – Karen

“No. I think they should go. I respect that this is a business for the sign owners, but in my opinion they are unappealing. This is not what we want to present to travelers through our town. Plus they are a safety hazard because they block the view at some intersections. Business can advertise in other ways.” – Merlin

“They are distracting and unattractive. They look like they belong in Vegas. There are lots of other ways to advertise, like on Facebook for one.” – Glennis

“I am all for advertising but there are way too many. Not only for safety but town appearance, they should remove them from major intersections/crosswalks and limit the amount per block.” – Chelsea

“Then I would think placing the signs where there could be little hazard is the answer. Did any of the do-gooders think about that?” – Val

“The only signs that are eyesores are the old wooden ones needing a paint job. The rental ones look fine.” – David

“I agree Eyesores. Too many. Take away from the landscaping the town has created.” – Sharon

“Yes! They are a great way to advertise. Everybody reads those things lol.” – Shantel

“Definite eye sores too many signs in one area and if they distract drivers then remove them.” – Penny

“I think they are very distracting and ugly. – Cathy

“I would encourage having them removed as well.” – Donald

“Move them away from the crossings! Don’t wait for an accident to happen first. By then it’s too late.” – Jody

“Yes. All they’re doing is trying to drum up business. So I’m all for the signs. “ – Morag

“Alex we should write a country song about this, you know we will be famous!!!!!” – Paul

“Eyesores.” – Jan

“From a marketing perspective the proliferation of them has actually made them much LESS effective and/or distracting. Having so many of them has defeated the purpose of catching your eye and one doesn’t actually even notice them anymore. At least not for their intended purpose apparently.” – Brad

“And they are ugly!” – Becky

Clearly the town has their work cut out for them tackling this issue.

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