About 100 street signs along a cluttered section of 106 Street in south Edmonton are in the process of being removed.
The City of Edmonton said that number represents about 30 per cent of the total number of signs along 106 Street between 63 Avenue and 76 Avenue.
“With that 30 per cent, you have to remember that that’s a count of each sign panel, including the tabs,” said Andrew Siggelkow, a senior engineer with the City of Edmonton who handles projects involving signs and signals.
“For instance, the playground zone signs — on that one post there are four signs identifying the playground, the speed, the time and that. So the 30 per cent reduction, visually it’s going to look like more than 30 per cent because we are removing probably more than 30 per cent of the posts because some of these posts have more than one sign on them.”
In November 2018, Global News first reported the story of sign pollution along 106 Street.
Within a 15-block distance, Global News counted hundreds of different signs — from playground zone notifications and speed limits to bike lane advisories, traffic advisories and more.
Weeks later, the city acknowledged the redundancy of signs and admitted some could be removed.
“There was clearly too many signs there and I think we have to examine why that ended up that way,” Ward 10 councillor Michael Walters said.
“I said it before, it was fodder to mockery and the mockery did come and I think we need to not beat ourselves up about that too badly and just learn from it.”
Siggelkow said the city follows national guidelines when it comes to sign installation, but added with the addition of so much new infrastructure, there was room to go back and review what was in place along 106 Street.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a problem. I think that with this infrastructure there’s a cumulative effect. There’s a lot going on on the corridor,” he said.
“Common sense is wonderful and we wish everyone knew everything so that we could rely on common sense. There are things that do need to be signed.”
On Monday, the city said an assessment has concluded that some of the signs can come down without the risk of compromising safety.
Work began in December to reduce and relocate signage, the city said. Some of the signs that were removed include no stopping and bicycle turn restriction signs.
The work will continue this spring with the replacement of some of the signage that identifies the start of a concrete median with “visually-less-intrusive green flexposts.”
In mid-2019, the city plans to look at a local traffic bylaw or the Alberta Traffic Safety Act in hopes of formalizing the turning right-of-way between cyclists and motorists to reduce some of the “right turning vehicles yield” signs.
Siggelkow said a sign assessment is underway along 76 Avenue between Gateway Boulevard and Saskatchewan Drive, where similar changes are likely to occur.
Watch below: Ongoing Global News coverage of sign pollution along a stretch of 106 Street in south Edmonton