Opinion Column

Surrey says 'so long' to sandwich boards and unsightly signs

Daniel Fontaine

By Daniel Fontaine, Dialogue with a Difference

City Hall building in Surrey, B.C. on Monday February 24, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

City Hall building in Surrey, B.C. on Monday February 24, 2014. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

If you’re a fan of inflatable gorillas and bright neon signs, you might be disappointed to learn they will soon become a thing of the past in Surrey. A new sign bylaw aims to eliminate things such as sandwich boards, flags, banners and anything else council deems unsightly.

The city is still in what it considers an education phase and has yet to begin ticketing violators. But it won’t be long before unco-operative business owners either need to comply with the bylaw or pay a fine.

Although the initiative may appear superficial, local politicians deserve a thumbs up for making Surrey, at least visually, appear more like the modern city it wants to become.

Green transport initiative goes nowhere

A big thumbs down to the thieves who decided to steal the trolley wire used to power the historic trains that shuttled tourists between Science World and Granville Island. This was the latest in a series of setbacks for light rapid transit and train enthusiasts who want to see this rail line become active again.

Prior to Vancouver’s hosting of the 2010 Olympics, city hall invested almost $8 million dollars to support a new urban rail line that would connect the downtown core and Granville Island. It was used heavily during the Games by tourists and locals alike.

But once all the athletes departed, the Vision-dominated council turned its back on the project. It was unwilling to financially support this green transportation initiative any longer.

That is why they get a thumbs down for allowing this vital transportation corridor to be overtaken by blackberry bushes and urban wildlife.

No bridging immense political gap

There are times when jurisdictional fights between cities make you ask yourself what century we are living in. Such is the case when you look at the recent announcement by New Westminster that an existing Bailey bridge will be permanently shut down.

An ongoing dispute between the Royal City and Coquitlam has meant the “temporary” Bailey bridge connecting the two cities needs to be replaced with yet another Bailey bridge. Short of asking high-profile mediator Vince Ready to step in, it is unlikely there will be a permanent link constructed in that location anytime soon.

On behalf of all the truckers and commuters negatively impacted by the lengthy shutdown, a big thumbs down to local leaders who seem incapable of coming up with a more long-lasting solution.








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