The City of Red Deer may restrict new signs with scrolling messages to major shopping districts.
Council gave first reading this week to a land use bylaw amendment concerning dynamic signs. Dynamic signs, also know as reader board signs, display rotating digital messages or images, like the existing one at Red Deer College.
It’s been an issue of contention for several months as civic leaders grapple with the potential of allowing a lot more of these signs dotting city streets.
Council decided to consider these signs within C2A Commercial Districts like Parkland Mall, Bower Mall and Village Mall. Existing signs would be grandfathered. A public hearing will be held on Feb. 22.
Council also asked a report come back within three months time on allowing new signs within C4 Commercial (major arterial) zoning, which is primarily along Gaetz Avenue and areas adjacent to 67th Street.
If it’s seen as a good idea, another bylaw amendment would be prepared.
Red Deer College officials have given input into what the new regulations should look like, including the length of time a message would be displayed.
Council reversed an earlier decision to increase the display time to five seconds from three. The intent was to decrease any potential for driver distraction.
“We think the three seconds doesn’t interfere with normal traffic flow,” said Michael Donlevy, associate vice-president of community relations, after attending Monday’s council meeting.
Donlevy said drivers are moving at such a pace along 32nd Street and Taylor Drive, that if it was at five seconds, they would only see half of the message. In order to recognize donors or sponsors or events, three seconds is ample, he said.