It is May Day, and thus the start of the tourist season in Charlottetown, part of which involves turning Victoria Row back into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare.

After many years of using bollards, the City of Charlottetown has changed to using lockable gates this year, complete with a garish sign:

New sign and gate at the end of Victoria Row for 2019

And so, for yet another year, my protests that we should sign positively not negatively are ignored.

Set aside the ugly and ill-fitting sign itself, as I suggested in 2017 the message here should be Pedestrians Welcome – Street Closed to all Vehicles.

The problem with the messaging this year is that it’s a lie: the street isn’t closed, it’s just different.


Andrew's picture
Andrew on May 2, 2019 - 09:23 Permalink

Good point, it does seem like an unwelcoming message. Perhaps someone could take advantage of the micro grant program and design better signage...

Shirley Smedley Jay's picture
Shirley Smedley Jay on May 2, 2019 - 16:05 Permalink

I saw the 'street closed' sign this morning. It is not friendly! Your suggested message is welcoming and should be heeded.

Leo Cheverie's picture
Leo Cheverie on May 3, 2019 - 09:19 Permalink

I would contact City Hall directly and make the suggestion - It is a very good one that should be enacted -- and maybe something more artistic can be fashioned --

Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on May 6, 2019 - 14:50 Permalink

I’m with you in general about positive signage, but I think messaging to drivers of moving vehicles represents a special case, in which you need to be succinct and direct. I think the distantly visible do-not-enter icons are the right approach, and for words alongside just “No cars”

Welcoming belongs on a banner or a sandwich board or some other kind of signage that doesn’t look like parking or driving guidance.

I’d say the barricade signage is what I’ve heard called a “way-finding” application. Welcoming maybe falls under marketing. Instructions and requests would be another category—which maybe the main application for the positivity principle...if not diplomacy, respect and/or charm.

Lee Ellen Pottie's picture
Lee Ellen Pottie on May 20, 2019 - 08:59 Permalink

Maybe something in keeping with the Row, a bit Victorian? “Street Closed” is so rude and infers that
nothing is open. Yuck.

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on May 20, 2020 - 09:53 Permalink

Victoria Row is once again closed to vehicles, and the signs above are back. I was reminded of this post when I spotted the signs on my walk Monday. It got me wondering what your opinion is of the social distancing signage that’s everywhere these days.