City considers election sign restrictions

Feedback reveals concerns about unsightliness, safety

Scene of accident where large signs may have played a role in blocking sight lines.

Scene of accident where large signs may have played a role in blocking sight lines.

Signs might only be permitted on designated city properties in upcoming elections for all levels of government.

Council directed staff to prepare an election sign bylaw for consideration that would set out on which city-owned properties signs could be placed.

Election signs are currently regulated under a general city sign bylaw, which allows for “virtually unrestricted use of municipal property for the placement of election signage,” according to a city report.

Over the past few elections – municipal, provincial and federal – the city has received feedback about the unsightliness of signs, concerns about public safety and sight lines, and access to walkways and sidewalks, states the report.

Mayor Henry Braun said that completely banning election signs can create issues around inhibiting freedom of speech, but said that limiting sign location will address certain issues, referencing a serious incident during the municipal election campaign period last year when a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the area of Old Yale and Maclure roads.

At that time, police requested the city contact candidates to remove large election signs from the area, as they might have been a factor in the incident.