May 16, 2018 1:50 am
Updated: May 16, 2018 3:05 am

What if signs had a bit of humour? Port Moody council takes a look at the idea

Port Moody councillors want to see how people would react to signs with a little humour.

Steve and Deborah Gilchrist

How inclined would someone be to follow signs if the city used humour to encourage them to pick up after their dog or even slow down in a school zone? That’s what Port Moody councillors hope to find out as they present their proposal to council on Tuesday.

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“We in the municipal community, cities of all sizes have been trying, and in some cases desperately, to get folks to slow down in certain trouble areas and these various approaches, many of them don’t work,” said Rob Vagramov, with the City of Port Moody. He is also one of the councillors spearheading the idea.

Vagramov was on The Simi Sara Show on Tuesday to talk about the proposal he and fellow city Councillor Hunter Madsen were putting forward, and mentioned the idea was tried before in the U.S.

LISTEN: Port Moody councillors want to use humour to slow down drivers

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He explained a small town in Florida had a really low limit of 25 miles an hour — about 40 kilometres an hour — but drivers didn’t seem to go over it.

“That speed limit seems super slow and yet you see all of these cars going a lot of the times, below the speed limit,” Vagramov said. “And I think it has a lot to do with the sign at the beginning of the community that says, ‘Honestly now, what’s your hurry? You’re already here.’”

The councillor explained the proposal is for a pilot project where the idea is to first “swap the signs around.”

“Suddenly, it’s a completely new sign there and if we have, let’s say, 10 locations and 10 signs, that’s 10 different messages that could go on,” he said.

READ MORE: How Port Moody could have been bigger than Vancouver

Vagramov did not say the idea was just about speeding as it could be applied to almost every situation.

He explained parents at his neighbourhood’s rec centre often tend to yell at their kids playing hockey the same way one would yell at an NHL game.

“That’s been noted in our community as kind of funny and it does bring about a sense of community as well because they don’t say, ‘Don’t yell at the kids,’ because that should be obvious.

“But if you sort of approach it from, ‘Hey listen all, you’re not at an NHL game, these are people’s kids, let’s just tone it down,’ that sort of gives a different vibe and it really does encourage people to adhere to that by their own free will rather than at the threat of a fine in the example of speeding,” Vagramov said.

The motion will only ask for costs and options to see how feasible the idea could be.

From there, he says council will make a decision on whether or not to give the pilot project a go.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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