Olympic signs raise concerns 

Council investigating what can be done

Olympic signs raise concerns

 

Council is concerned about the large new signs on the edge of the highway heralding the venues for the 2010 Games.

Installed over the weekend, the signs stand on the highway at each of the three Olympic and Paralympic venues in Whistler — the athletes’ village, the sliding centre and the alpine venue.

There are also signs at the entrance to the Callaghan Valley for the Nordic centre.

Mayor Ken Melamed said staff got last minute notice that the signs were going up and have some concerns about the size and location of the half dozen signs.

Staff is investigating the municipality’s sign bylaw to see if they are in compliance but they may not have any authority to make changes.

“There’s some question as to whether our sign bylaws apply to areas within the Ministry of Transportation highways right of way,” said the mayor after Monday’s council meeting. “We are investigating whether our bylaws apply there or not.”

Maureen Douglas, director of communications for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic, said:

“We’re aware of the concern in the community over the size of the signs and we’re assisting with a cooperative discussion between the MOT and the RMOW (Resort Municipality of Whistler) to revise the signs and ensure that they are more in keeping with the scale of signs in the Whistler community.”

It is not yet clear how much those changes will cost VANOC.

The signs have also raised the eyebrows of at least one tourist, confused about what they are announcing because they do not include the words “Olympic” or “Paralympic”

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