CBRM looking to solve unsightly sign situation
Multi-coloured mobile signs, advertising pretty much anything you can think of, are a common sight around the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Alyce MacLean is among those who thinks they are unsightly.
"And they're everywhere”, MacLean said. “We're such a beautiful island. And they're just so ugly."
MacLean said she’s glad the municipality is now asking residents how they feel about the mobile glow signs, adding that she doesn’t feel they’re a welcome sight for visitors.
"A few people saying they're tourists and they came here, and they noticed that we had a lot more than other places”, she said. “Cape Breton is so beautiful and they were kind of surprised that all of these really ugly signs that were everywhere."
Craig Boudreau owns a mobile sign company in the Sydney area. He agrees that in some cases there are too many signs, packed too closely together and welcomes the city's review on the issue.
"They're actually lifelines for a lot of small businesses and non-profits, but at the same time they need to be cleaned up”, Boudreau said. "At the end of the day, I think we're going to find a happy medium. That's what they want. That's what CBRM want. And I believe that's what the public wants."
CBRM councillor Steve Gillespie said the goal is not an outright ban but rather, better regulation. He said he first put the issue forward a few years ago, after getting complaints.
"We're putting out a survey to the general public and asking for their input”, Gillespie said. "(The goal is) just that these don't start to accumulate. Sometimes you'll see one sign in an area and then four days later, there's five signs. Signs like this shouldn't be on private property. They shouldn't be on municipal, provincial or federal property."
While some see the signs as a useful marketing tool. others say they have become part of the urban landscape.
"Pretty much just like white noise. I don't find them to be terribly effective”, MacLean said.