Trash bags over Yellowknife stop signs lead to confusion, memes

When the City of Yellowknife covers up stop signs with trash bags, you don't have to stop - but the odd sight on Forrest Drive due to a construction detour has led to a little confusion.

Construction detour on Forrest Drive is allowing the city to repair water and sewer infrastructure

A stop sign is covered with a garbage bag in Yellowknife. The bag is meant to be a signal to drivers that they don't need to stop. (Katie Toth/CBC)

A detour on local streets in Yellowknife has left one intersection looking a little trashy.

Water and sewer infrastructure along the city's main artery, Franklin Avenue, is being upgraded, causing a detour onto Forrest Drive. 

During the detour, drivers are supposed to drive through the usual three-way stop intersecting Taylor Road and instead stop at a street further along the route.

To send this message, the city has used a couple household staples: duct tape and garbage bags. 

But the new route has involved some growing pains, as some drivers have continued stopping at the old stop signs despite the fact that they are now covered in bags, city councillor Julian Morse told CBC. He recently explained the meaning behind the bags to residents in a Facebook post. 

"I was just trying to share some information with people," he said.

Other residents have also kicked up a stink about the confusion, with a post on popular local Facebook page NWT Memes weighing in about people's driving behaviour around the bags:

(NWT Memes/Facebook)

However, there will be some assistance for those thrown off by the new additions: city spokesperson Iman Kassam says that Yellowknife bylaw officers will guide traffic in busy Forrest Drive intersections during the morning, lunch, and afternoon rush hours, to make sure locals understand the [temporary] rules of the road.

"The stop signs are temporarily decommissioned to keep traffic moving smoothly and efficiently,"  Kassam says.

"As with most detours, there was an initial adjustment period for drivers, but most people seem to understand the traffic route now and are proceeding through the detour properly."