Signville clutter needs to go

Cache Creek Beautification Society works to rid town of unnecessary signage downtown.

Being at a major highway junction comes with a lot of traffic-related extras, and Cache Creek has done well with the transportation theme for the most part.

The town doesn’t mind being called a transportation hub, but it draws the line at Signville.

The Cache Creek Beautification Society (CCBS) has been lobbying the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to remove redundant signs in the downtown area and to replace others that are old and tattered.

CCBS president Carmen Ranta said the sign clutter came up in 2012 while provincial Communities in Bloom judges were evaluating the community.

One of the recommendations under the Landscaping topic was to engage with Ministry of Highways, to discuss better visibility for Cache Creek.

“We agreed with the judges,” said Ranta. “For the amount of space in town, there were too many signs.”

She says the CCBC has spoken to both the Village and DOT since then, including a meeting with DOT last October.

“We voiced our concerns,” said Ranta, “they talked about their plans.”

She said it was a positive meeting that included driving around the downtown core discussing how they could reduce the clutter.

Still, nothing changed.

“We were pretty disappointed because Communities in Bloom was about to start again.

She said she was inspired to renew talks with DOT recently when another large sign was erected downtown.

DOT responded by sending a sign proposal to the Beautification Society and to Council for comments. The proposal eliminates about 10 signs and moves a half dozen more beyond the municipal boundaries.

Ranta urged Cache Creek Council to support the Society’s wishes to have large promotional signs and signs advertising businesses in other communities placed outside of the Village boundaries, redundant signs removed and old signs replaced.

Council, at its Sept. 14 meeting, deferred back to the Society.

“Cache Creek supports CCBS in their efforts for reducing sign clutters installed by DOT within Village boundaries,” was Council’s response.

“We have a Cariboo Connector sign,” said Mayor John Ranta at the Council meeting. “It’s been there since 2005. They’re on Phase 3 now and (Hwy 97) bridge widening was supposed to be part of  Phase 1. They can take their sign and relocate it.”

“We’re not against local business signs,” said Ranta. “We just  want DOT to think about signs in the future before they place them here. We’re just asking for some consideration.”

She said the DOT seems to be trying to meet their wishes with this new proposal, but she’d like to see a plan.

“I don’t want to be talking about this every two years,” she said.