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Council approves signage plan for downtown

Twenty-seven signs will be posted in Fort Macleod’s historic downtown core to address parking issues.

Council approved a plan and $1,352 budget presented by administration at the March 8 meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building.

“This was spurred on when we received a number of complaints from businesses and land owners,” director of operations Adrian Pedro said. “We did our formal investigation, our formal assessment, and came up with this signage plan.”

Issues identified in that process included:

  • Lack of regulatory signage outlining the two-hour parking restrictions.
  • Improper signage orientation.
  • The lack of directional signage to alternate parking areas.
  • Illegal parking on town property, including blocking alleys and remaining in stalls for too long.
  • Conflicting signage.

Chief administrative officer Sue Keenan added the Chamber of Commerce was consulted.

“I believe we’ve done our due diligence and have something that is going to work for everyone,” Keenan said.

The plan includes twenty 30 cm by 45 cm signs promoting two-hour parking limits Monday to Friday.

Two 75 cm by 75 cm signs with arrows directing motorists to alternative parking will also be placed.

Two 30 cm by 30 cm “No Parking” signs will be erected, along with three 175 cm by 121 cm signs promoting parking lots.

Three sturdy, short vertical posts, or bollards, to block off an alley adjacent to the Grier Block and Legion are also part of the plan.

Coun. David Orr asked for more information about the nature of complaints.

Orr said he was concerned about posting 22 parking signs in the provincial historic area.

“I have some real concerns about the impact that’s going to have on the historic nature of those two stretches of roads,” Orr said.

“I would be looking for some other way that we can communicate what obviously  needs to be communicated.”

Orr said he appreciates the concerns of business owners who want to have parking in front of their stores.

“I’m just wondering if there isn’t some other solution to look at because that is a lot of very modern signage peppered along our historic streets,” Orr said.

Pedro said one concern raised by business owners was people living in the downtown core who leave vehicles parked on streets for hours.

“There is a bit of an issue with parking availability in that area,” Pedro added.

Pedro did not share Orr’s concerns about “sign clutter.”

Pedro said parking signs will be placed on existing poles, rather than installing new posts for that purpose.

Having more signs promoting the two-hour parking zone will improve the town’s ability to enforce the restriction.

At present there is just one parking sign on westbound Main Street.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily a better option to deal with it,” Pedro said.

Orr wondered about the scope of the problem.

“If it’s a few people, let’s talk to the few people,” Orr suggested.

Pedro said the lack of signage makes enforcement difficult.

Orr suggested that in a smaller community such as Fort Macleod, problems can be solved with a personal approach.

Keenan said three property owners agreed to provide written notice to their tenants that they can’t park in front of businesses on Second and Third avenues and Main  Street.

Keenan said efforts have been made to deal with residents who leave vehicles parked downtown for long periods of time.

“To beef up enforcement, we have to have the correct signage, we have to have it properly placed,” Keenan said.