The new way finding signs, installed by the Town of Ponoka in the first week of September at locations throughout downtown and along the Battle River trail system, have garnered some criticism from the public.
Ponoka resident Curtis Jacobson, who is a visual artist with a screen printing business in town, said on a few of the signs he’s seen, some elements are crooked and have gaps. He’s also concerned the lazy river metal cutout design on the sign posts are a safety hazard.
“I wonder how anything like that passes a safety standard,” said Jacobson.
He filed a complaint with the town, letting them know some of the cutouts had sharp edges. While some seem to have been fixed, he said the smaller sign post at Central Park, at 52 Street and 54 Avenue, is still “razor sharp.”
“In the long run, they’re just asking for trouble with this,” he said.
“I have no problem with these ideas if they know what they’re doing.”
At least one post that was installed in town had signs pointing in the wrong direction.
The sign at the Tractor Park shows the “Ponoka Stampede” heading towards the town’s baseball diamonds rather than the Stampede Grounds.
The town said it was aware of that issue and it would be corrected in the coming weeks.
The approved budget for the way finding signage, whose posts are made of solid Douglas fir timbers, was $110,000, paid for by provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, according to the town.
The new signage was recommended in the town’s Downtown Action Plan and Urban Framework Master Plan.
The design for the signs came before council at a December, 2021 regular town council meeting and was at that time approved to be part of the budget.
The Downtown Action Plan and Urban Framework Master Plan were developed in conjunction with the Downtown advisory committee and public open houses.
“While the specific signs were not included, they were noted as features that can enhance Ponoka’s tourism, transportation and beautification in the downtown,” stated the town in a written response.
The town previously said the way finding program is intended to expand with more signage being installed throughout the community pending future budget approval.
More signs may be added along highways 53 and 2A, throughout parks in town and more locations throughout downtown.