Why Are There Signs Like  These All Over Calgary?[twitter]They are everywhere there is green space in Calgary. Any busy road that has a wide median on the side is covered with half a dozen or so neon road signs advertising schools, garage sales, community events, politicians, and more.

I grew up in Vancouver. These weeds don’t exist in Vancouver. And so I wonder how they came to be the de facto way to advertise hyperlocal services in Calgary.

My wife has the Calgary Mom Sale coming up next weekend, this week she will have two big neon road signs advertising her sale to the locals. Next to social media word of mouth, it is the cheapest, most effective, and ugliest way to get the message out.

I asked the r/Calgary Reddit community what the roots of the sign craze were, and got some complaints along with chastising for being a whiny leftist. Okay then.

I asked the Mayor’s office for some clarification and was pointed to the rather wordy 15 page bylaw governing the placement of neon road signs in Calgary.

The bylaw goes over election signs, garage sale signs, and community signs, and apart from directions stating no signs on highways or near bus shelters, I don’t see anything governing these neon road signs. The bylaw calls them “temporary signs” and if you’ve driven any major strip in Calgary, you’d call them anything but “temporary.”

In all my questioning, nobody seemed eager to defend Calgary’s continuous crop of neon road signs, most seemed to just accept them as a way of life in the city and a cost of doing business. Why?


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