Illegal Boulevard Marketing In Calgary And Its Challenges

August 4, 2022


Despite the recent trend towards complete digitalization and the use of digital and online marketing strategies, traditional marketing has not completely lost its trance. Regardless of how fast, feasible, and effortless reaching out to potential customers through digital means becomes, the need for physical marketing techniques such as the use of signboards, flyers, and billboards remain apparent and effective even in the most developed countries.

Currently, a slew of major and small businesses have erected boulevard signs promoting their goods and services around Calgary. Certain areas appear to be saturated with lawn signs of various corporations, ranging from events to home services.

All is well until these placards start to cause inconvenience in the neighbourhood. Despite the fact that marketing is an inherent prerogative of any business, companies must never go overboard with it to the point where their techniques become a safety risk or simple pollution.

Although boulevard marketing or placing of signs is allowed, there are specific rules and regulations companies must follow to ensure that their lawn signs do not disrupt the area in question. For instance, placing a temporary sign very close to an intersection or along a major roadway is clearly a violation of the City of Calgary’s Temporary Signs By law . Although the city has stringent policies, including various fines and penalties regarding temporary signage, local businesses seem to be undeterred by the laws. Here are some of the guidance provided by the City of Calgary:

A temporary sign is not legally placed if it:

  • Is closer than 15 metres to any intersection.
  • Is closer than 30 metres to any City bus shelter, transit bench, bus zone, LRT station, or LRT platform.
  • Is placed in a Playground Zone or School Zone.
  • Is placed within 20 metres of a sign which is posted by the same owner or depicts, advertises or promotes the same idea.
  • Is placed on or within 2 metres of a Fire Hydrant.
  • Is placed within 10 metres on a crosswalk that is not at an intersection.
  • Is closer than 2 metres from the curb or edge of road.
  • Is placed on any traffic island or centre median.
  • Obstructs any traffic control device.
  • Is erected on any prohibited or restricted roadway . View map. [This includes roadways such as Anderson Road, Canyon Meadows Drive, Beddington Trail, John Laurie Boulevard, Southland Drive and Shaganappi Drive to name a few]
  • Creates a traffic or pedestrian hazard.
  • Is displayed for more than 14 days before or more than 24 hours following the date of the advertised event, whichever is less (see exceptions for election signage below). [Source: City of Calgary]

Companies, especially fly-by-nighters, fearlessly advertise their services by placing signs in areas in which such placements are clearly prohibited by the city’s public space bylaws. It’s a cheap and tacky practice, and results in excessive lawn signs from competitors and other businesses that generally results in littering Calgary’s beautiful communities and boulevards.

The Illegal Signage Placements On Métis Trail

What businesses fail to understand is that such uninvited and unscrupulous actions cause more harm than good to their image in the local community. If you place a sign in the wrong place, it will only bother people instead of attracting them to your services. A similar scenario is apparent in the northeast along Calgary’s Métis Trail, Country Hills Boulevard, and many other major roadways. Numerous local businesses have illegally placed signs advertising their businesses in the aforementioned areas.

According to CTV News, 311 has received approximately 131 complaints regarding the issue from Ward 5 in March 2022. Ironically, the relevant bylaw expressly forbids sign placement along the Métis Trail.

Why Boulevard Lawn Signs Are illegal In Certain Areas

It is important to note that boulevard signs are not entirely outlawed. If done correctly, businesses are allowed to reap the benefits of this technique. However, placing them in the wrong places, in the wrong way, or going overboard with them is a concern.

The city’s public space bylaw clearly forbids the placement of boulevard signs alongside major roadways because they are a distraction to drivers and may cause accidents. Similarly, flooding intersections with such signs also obstruct a driver’s view of the approaching traffic and may result in traffic incidents. Moreover, placing these signs in parks, school zones, or residential areas without permission causes visual pollution. Thus, companies dismissing these safety risks clearly label themselves as socially irresponsible.

Thus, it is safe to deduce that besides the city’s efforts, the public must discourage such acts on an individual basis. The best way to do so would be to boycott the services of companies that place illegal signs.

Moreover, the city encourages the public to immediately report any illegal placement of signs by calling 311. In order to understand the complaint filing process and the necessary information required, read the relevant details on the city’s website.

Illegal Lawn Sign Placement In The Roofing Industry

As highlighted earlier, no industry is an exception to this issue, including the roofing sector. Several unscrupulous and shady roofing businesses tend to cause visual pollution on public boulevards and major roadways by illegally placing their stake signs. This has become extremely common in neighborhoods and communities impacted by hail during the Summer season. It is important to report these businesses to City Bylaw. When contacting 311, be prepared to provide the address or intersection, the offending business name or names, and your contact information. Fines for violating the bylaw range from $75 to $1,000 per occurrence, depending on the offense.

Besides offering high-end roofing services in Calgary, AKRoN Roofing strictly abides by the Temporary Signs Bylaw. We only place a stake sign on a customer’s lawn when a job is contracted and we have never littered community roads with lawn sign advertising.

About AKRoN Roofing

In our years of service across Calgary and surrounding areas, we have put customer comfort and satisfaction at the top of our priority list. Our aim is to become the most reputed roofing company in Calgary by providing top-notch services and establishing relationships founded on trust and loyalty. Learn more about AKRoN Roofing and our services.

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