A cell phone image of life on the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and First Street a few days after the 'no' signs were stencilled on the sidewalks.

Revelstoke sidewalk ‘no’ signs will stay until they fade away

Miscommunication led to mistakes, obscuring good intentions; Council still feels sidewalk scofflaws are an issue.

City council and staff issued several apologies for last week’s ‘no’ sign debacle at their Sept. 11 city council meeting, acknowledging mistakes were made.

However, the signs will stay until they eventually fade because council believes trying to remove them will not work and will create an eyesore.

“It is not our role to supervise staff,” said mayor David Raven in his address to council. He alluded to an “interpretation” and “communication” issue between council and staff, leading ultimately to the signs.

“The message is one of public safety,” Raven said. “Council are responsible for the safety of the public.” He said if someone was injured by a bike, skateboard or an off-leash dog, the city and its taxpayers would legally liable.

“I’m hoping that the controversy will blow over and the signs [will] rub off,” Raven said, adding the PR black eye detracted from council’s good work.

City planning director John Guenther also apologized, citing communication issues. “The goal in my mind was to do something small in a minor way,” he said, adding the signs “grew into something way beyond.”

Part of the idea behind the signage is to enable citizens to point out the rules to scofflaws, Guenther said, adding he believed this was better than an enforcement-heavy approach.

Coun. Phil Welock, who was originally elected on a law-and-order platform, said there had been “talk” of vigilantism to deal with sidewalk scofflaws. “We need some enforcement; it’s done,” Welock said.

Coun. Gary Starling felt attempts to remove the signs wouldn’t be worth it. “I think time will take care of that,” he said, adding, “we can’t fix these problems with signage.”

Have there been any injuries due to downtown sidewalk skateboarding, cycling or dog bites, I asked. Councillors and staff couldn’t cite an incident, but said they’d heard of near misses. They didn’t have any statistics or numbers to quantify the issue. There hasn’t been litigation resulting from an injury.

After the meeting, Coun. Linda Nixon shared her experiences as a gerontological nurse, including her time working to rehab elderly patients injured in falls or other mishaps.

She contrasted what you see on downtown sidewalks (longboards, BMXes, cruisers and bar bikes) with what you don’t — elderly residents pushing strollers or walking with the assistance of canes.

She said elderly residents heading downtown in other B.C. small-towns, but wondered if ours had become too inhospitable to those worried about a physical encounter with skateboarders, sidewalk cyclists or off-leash dogs.

 

Just Posted

Revelstokian calling on the city to clean up the Columbia River

The letter writer submitted several photos of the mess along the river bank at Centennial Park

Regional district director working to remove building inspection requirements

David-Brooks hill wants to remove the requirements for those outside the fire protection zone

Revelstokian on Vernon soccer team brings home gold

Vernon Tolko United U15 boys Team win provincial championship and Fair Play Award

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Fast-paced South Okanagan fundraiser guaranteed to thrill

Area 27 motorsports club members are offering the ride of a lifetime in support of OSNS

RCMP track down vehicle used in South Okanagan hit and run

Penticton RCMP are asking for any witnesses to a hit and run incident to come forward

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in the South Okanagan

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Backyard fundraiser raises over $40,000 for Foundry Kelowna, CMHA

‘The message was really about treating mental health like any other illness’

Air ambulance called to second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

Most Read