Some drivers feel sign is blinding

·2 min read

In January 2020, town administration revealed the projected plans for phase II, which consisted of the erection of a $166,000. vertical sign standing at just over 28 feet tall with a 16 x 8 foot LED screen. The sign’s cost was included in the Multiplex’s overall budget and would be used to promote events taking place within the complex. A lot of consideration and research from both the Town of Fox Creek and the MD of Greenview went into choosing the sign’s correct location. Factors discussed included having a vantage point for residents and visitors to read the sign, ground stability, water drainage, and power access.

The public’s apprehension came about after learning the sign would be erected at the top of Kaybob Drive bordering the Legion’s Cenotaph. Many expressed concern about the sign placement as a possible distraction and wanted the sacred grounds at the cenotaph preserved. Initially, town council met with legion members on January 20 for further discussion, and an agreement was reached. Both parties mutually agreed to work together to satisfy both and have multiple benefits from the signage. As the town of Fox Creek only utilized one side of the sign, an earlier option discussed regarding the legion using the other side to place either an illuminated poppy or possibly attaching a metal figure of a soldier on the pillar. Adding to the sign would contribute to the legion’s cenotaph improvement project that’s been ongoing. The sign was constructed in July 2020, but there’s been no confirmation whether legion members will proceed with their ideas to utilize the other side of the pillar.

As residents became aware of the 28-foot structure, concerns were raised on social media about it being a distraction for drivers because they would try to read the sign while travelling. Contrary to those initial concerns, once erected, reading the sign was not the issue; it was getting blinded by the LED screen while driving. The town received several complaints regarding the screen’s brightness, as motorists said the sign was visible for miles. The administration acknowledged it was overly bright when initially installed, and they have been working with the software company on making adjustments. Despite several adjustments over the last six months, complaints were still being made. Those who live close commented about the glare coming into their living room and bedroom windows, while others said it was still blinding while driving at night. It's been a roller coaster getting the LED screen adjusted, so it’s pleasing to all viewers during the day and in the evening. As with all technology, there are always tweaks that need to be done, but it is believed administration has now finally mastered the controls and turned it down to a setting that’s acceptable to everyone.

Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press