Are funny road signs just the ticket to slow drivers?

Councillors in Port Moody think the strategy might work.

Will comedy slow drivers in Port Moody?

A pair of city councillors thinks so.

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In a report to be presented to council Tuesday at its committee of the whole meeting at the Glenayre community centre, Couns. Hunter Madsen and Rob Vagramov said signs with “sardonic, conversational messages that show a knowing awareness of the driver’s inclination to speed” might be just the ticket to get them to slow down in residential neighbourhoods. 

They said the idea is called "social signalling."

The councillors said such signs, with messages like “Honestly Now – What’s Your Hurry? — You’re Here!” managed to modify the behaviour of drivers in the Florida Keys’ town of Key Colony Beach, slowing them not only on the busy roadway where the signs were posted but also neighbouring streets.

The report said drivers tend to tune out conventional signage, but the unconventional messages command their attention and even make them slow down so they can spot more such signs.

Madsen and Vagramov said such signage could even help create a positive brand for the city with “its smart and witty local cultural sensibility.” 

The councillors are hoping their colleagues pass their report to staff to investigate the best locations for such signs for a one-year pilot project, as well as possible slogans. They also suggest ideas for signs could be solicited from the public by social media.

“This initiative has the potential to create a buzz in the region,” said the report.

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