A good time to review the sign ordinance

D

espite local drivers’ best efforts to be vigilant, accidents still can happen. 

Blinking, flashing and garishly bright lighted signs advertising a number of Big Rapids businesses may be creating an added distraction. The Big Rapids Department of Neighborhood Services has received roughly 10 complaints about electronic signs already this month.

There is no doubt that advertising is an essential element of running a successful business. As a community newspaper, we at the Pioneer are well aware of advertising’s importance.

However, self promotion can still be achieved without posing added distraction or danger to those traveling major roadways, and the Big Rapids Planning Commission’s decision to review the city’s sign ordinance is a step in the right direction to finding a suitable solution for all involved.

As technology morphs, changes and progresses, businesses must evolve right along with it or risk being left in the dust. 

It makes sense, then, that as the technology for blinking, flashing, rotating and other varieties of signs becomes available, savvy local business owners would want to take advantage of it to promote their
services.

When that business advantage causes a driver to become distracted or disoriented, however, the advertising starts causing more harm than good. A line may need to be drawn.

With a review of the city’s sign ordinance will come a clearer definition of what style of electronic signs will be permitted in Big Rapids, and which will not. Businesses will still be able to promote all they have to offer the community, while drivers will be able to travel safer, less distracting routes through the city.

We salute the city planning commission for the decision to review the signage issue and support their future considerations regarding the sign ordinance. 

We hope for a positive outcome that will combine the best interests of both businesses and drivers.

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