Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.
Except behind electric bikes in Port Moody, that is. But one city resident would like to see that changed.
Neil Doyle owns a small business called Bicycle Billboards. He uses his electric bicycle to pull a small trailer equipped with a sign rack to display ads he sells.
"I started a small business behind bicycle billboards because I saw the diesel trucks that were just advertising. They weren't hauling anything. They were just advertising trucks," Doyle told Port Moody council Tuesday night.
"I thought, 'I can do better than that. I can have advertisement behind an electric bicycle.' So I'm legal in New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver, but I'm not legal in my hometown of Port Moody."
Doyle is asking Port Moody to change its sign bylaw to allow vehicle signs for bicycles and electric bicycles towing trailers.
He is also asking that the bylaw allow for security-vehicle-grade flashing lights on the back of the trailers for safety.
"I believe the original spirit of that bylaw was to keep the diesel trucks and other vehicles off our roads because they contribute to pollution, they contribute to congestion, and I think they're kind of ugly," Doyle said.
"My signs, on the other hand, I think are kind of pretty. I don't add to pollution because I do most of the work myself and I have the electric motor for the hills. I won't be adding to congestion because I'll be running on off-peak hours and parked off the road on peak hours.
"As I said, I think they look a lot better than the trucks."
The innovative advertisements could also have a positive impact on other local businesses, he added.
"St. Johns, Murray and Clarke have a lot of businesses that I don't believe have enough exposure. People go whizzing by them day in, day out, and they don't have any idea what's in their own backyard. I've been living here for six years, and every once in a while I still notice a business that I can tell has been there for a while but I never saw it before," Doyle said.
"That is why I'm here. I'm here to appeal to you to change the bylaw. I know that some of you campaigned on small businesses and some of you campaigned on green growth in Port Moody. Really, I think I have both of those summed up fairly tidily."
The idea caught the attention of Coun. Diana Dilworth.
"I'm really interested in this. I see some potential," Dilworth said.
"But glaring right in my eyes is it contravenes our sign bylaw in so many different ways."
Coun. Rick Glumac agreed.
"I commend that you're starting a business that's a green business. I think that's great. When I first read through our bylaw for signs, it does strike me that this does not fit within the spirit of our current bylaw. A bicycle is a vehicle, and we do restrict advertising on vehicles. I think the reason for that is distractions and to avoid visual clutter and things like that," Glumac said.
"Once we open this up, I'm very concerned where it can go. I don't see that we need to change the spirit of our current bylaw for signs, so I won't be supporting this."
No decisions were made Tuesday night. The issue will be back on the agenda at the next council meeting on Jan. 10.
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