Sign wars: City crews erase community's signs asking drivers to slow down

L-R, Daniel Nielsen, 6, Penelope Badke, 5, Elizabeth Raynor, 5, and Sam Markholm, 6, are some of...

L-R, Daniel Nielsen, 6, Penelope Badke, 5, Elizabeth Raynor, 5, and Sam Markholm, 6, are some of over 20 kids who live along 14A St. S.W. who have drawn ladybugs and slow down signs on the street in hopes of slowing down traffic. The city washed away the slow down words on each end of the street and told them to put their signs away. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

Shawn Logan, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

CALGARY -- The ladybugs can stay, but signs and street paintings begging drivers to slow down in a southwest Calgary neighbourhood have been erased by city crews.

After five years battling city bureaucrats to bring traffic calming measures to a Bankview street, residents took things into their own hands, erecting signs and painting the residential road with ladybugs and large, yellow “slow” markings in an effort to prompt those passing through to ease up on the gas pedal.

On Monday, city roads crews rolled in to erase the road paintings aimed at drivers, but allowed the ladybugs to stay.

“From the city’s perspective, we can’t just have people willy nilly putting up signs and painting roads where they think it’s necessary,” said city spokesman Sean Somers.

“We’re trying to be neighbourly about it — we’ll let the ladybugs fly for now.”

The street painting campaign was the latest attempt by residents of 14A St., between 19 Ave. and 21 Ave., to compell people driving through to slow down.

Previously, signs have been raised only to be taken down by city bylaw officials, and despite traffic studies and even a proposal for community members to pay for speed bumps, the street remains a straight away sometimes used as a shortcut for nearby 14 St. S.W.

Craig Badke, whose 5-year-old daughter is one of some 20 young children who live on the tree-lined street, said years of frustration led to neighbourhood action.

“We’ve been fighting for years to get something,” he said, before city cleaning crews arrived Monday to scrub the “slow” street markings, leaving only smudges behind.

“There’s got to be some other priorities for the city than taking down signs and erasing road paintings.”


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