Surrey plan for billboards at bridges draws fire
The City of Surrey wants to install as many as 10 massive electronic billboards near its major bridges in order to raise some cash, but at least one councillor says the plan is a bad idea.
The city has already put out a request for proposals for a company to build and maintain the signs that would measure about four metres by 16 metres.
Coun. Barinder Rasode said the council isn't expected to make a final decision on the plan until the fall or early next year, but expects the city will try out three billboards as a pilot project, before expanding the program.
Eventually the proposal calls for as many as 10 billboards in heavy traffic areas such as the Golden Ears, Port Mann and Patullo bridges where each sign could bring in $200,000 a year. The locations will be chosen carefully, said Rasode.
"We would not approve anything that would be an eyesore or cause any issues around safety or traffic," said Rasode.
But Coun. Bob Bose says they'll be a distraction to drivers, an eyesore and will send the wrong message to visitors.
"The one proposed for the Patullo is utter nonsense. That is one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the province and we shouldn't be entertaining anything that has the remotest possibility of contributing to further accidents," said Bose.
"Surrey has over many years attempted to present an image of a green and rural community with urban centres. What these billboards are going to do is send a message to people entering Surrey that that is no longer the case — we're all about business, advertising and commercial stuff," said Bose.