Not a sign of the times in Alberni

Maybe Alberni city council should hold off on more signage directing people uptown until something is done with uptown.

City council has turned down a request from a merchant in South Port—also known as ‘Uptown’—for better signage directing visitors to this shopping area.

Jennie O’Connor, who owns Let’s Knit! on Argyle Street, said she sees a lot of traffic on the Johnston Road corridor and would like to divert some of it to South Port.

O’Connor suggests signs directing visitors to ‘Historic Downtown’. This, we feel, would be premature.

While the city has a good start on the ‘historic’ part with areas such as Alberni Corner (Third Avenue and Argyle), the Carmoor Block, train station and even Harbour Quay, the only thing historic about Uptown is the tired look of the empty buildings. And that is not something to be proud of.

We advocate a beautification plan for Uptown—an actual plan, not just more talk, which we’ve heard since the uptown and waterfront redevelopment plan was introduced five years ago—before increased signage.

We are eager to hear more about Mayor John Douglas’ big picture for the South Port area.

Port Alberni is unique in that it has four distinct shopping areas: North Port, lower Johnston Road, Redford and 10th Avenue and Uptown. They all deserve attention, which means a cohesive sign plan.

The city in 2007 erected the distinctive blue signs with white lettering. Some of them direct people to the ‘city centre’, and others to Harbour Quay. At the time, they were enough.

These will have to suffice for now.

— Black Press

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