Local Journalism Initiative
Council got its first look at the engineering and design standards for neighbourhood street name signs for the Town of Hinton at the standing committee meeting on June 9.
The engineering and design standards for the Town’s neighbourhood street name signs were reviewed using recognized national engineering guidelines, established by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC).
Existing signage standards in Hinton posed several issues such as height, location, and a lack of reflectiveness for night visibility, CAO Emily Olsen explained.
The replacement signs and the signposts are standardized with improved durability, reduced costs, and an increased life cycle.
Coun. Trevor Haas stated that he appreciated not only the improved signage but also the height of the poles, as signs are currently lower and more difficult to see.
Council approved $100,000 in 2019 for the first phase of replacing neighbourhood street name signs and an additional $140,000 was approved in 2020 for the second phase of the project, Peter Vana, director of development services confirmed.
Vana explained this is the amount budgeted in the tendering process and not the actual amount that will be spent.
“We are trying to save money in any way we can. Mr. Haque is also using internal forces to install the signs but there’s only a certain number of companies that we would go out for bids on to actually produce the signs,” Vana said.
Emdad Haque, director of infrastructure services, added that not every sign will be changed if the current sign closely aligns to the standard and that installation would be done in-house.
Coun. Dewly Nelson pointed out that under the current purchasing policy a report summarizing tenders must come back to council as the project is over $200,000.
Olsen stated that the purchasing policy is prioritized for review and will come back to council within the next month.
When Coun. JoAnn Race asked about mapping, Todd Martens, fire chief and protective services manager, said protective services use software from the 911 dispatch centre, the fire department is installing mapping in their truck this year, EMS has mapping from their own dispatch in Northern Alberta, and RCMP comes from the K-division, which are all different.
“The issue sometimes isn’t just the mapping, the issue is seeing the location that we’re going to. We have a ballpark idea, but the problem is at nighttime when you’re going with lights and sirens to a location and you’re driving right by a location you’re responding to,” he said.
RCMP and Emergency Medical Services advised the Town of Hinton in 2017 that current street name signs used by the Town were impacting emergency response times. The non-reflective surface of the street name signs makes it difficult for responders unfamiliar with the community to locate the street names at night or during inclement weather conditions, administration’s report stated.
Administration stated the street name sign replacement program is an asset management cost-saving measure for long term budgeting.
The first phase of the project was delayed until the 2020 season to prepare the engineering design standards for the tendering process.
Infrastructure Services is currently finalizing the tender documents to procure the street name signs and hardware for installation using Town resources.