Brantford Council approved a $25,000 expenditure for a new entry sign at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre during their regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 27, 2023.
Councillor Richard Carpenter separated the item for a separate vote and without further discussion, prompting Councillor Greg Martin to note that he found it odd that Carpenter would do so without explanation. Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis suggested the group stay on track and focus on the item at hand, and called the attention back to the vote. Councillors then voted in favour 10-1, with Carpenter opposed.
Earlier this year, Brantford residents attended a public meeting to discuss traffic control surrounding the sports centre. Councillors Dan McCreary and Martin later brought the idea of an entryway sign forward to council during a Committee of the Whole meeting earlier in June.
Rob Smith, a Transportation Technologist at the City of Brantford, led the April meeting to gather feedback, while Martin and McCreary were also in attendance to help answer any questions.
Those in attendance had a chance to speak about the issues they had witnessed in the area including accidents, and noting that the current poor signage leads to many drivers making U-turns in driveways with near close calls involving homeowners trying to leave their property.
During the public meeting, City staff and the councillors shared the idea to put up a sign to help better signal to visitors where the entrance is.
“The entrance sign for Gretzky is set back quite a way from the road, and a lot of people don’t see it,” said Martin in April. “What we’re considering is the possibility of a big overhead sign over the road pointing into the Gretzky Centre.”
During the Committee of the Whole meeting earlier this month, Council inquired about other options such as adding in a signalized intersection instead of the sign.
Mark Jacklyn, Director of Operational Services, responded that City staff had performed a study to see if a signalized intersection was warranted, however, he noted that it was done outside of hockey season and did not support adding in an intersection at this time.
Jacklyn also mentioned that it would cost significantly more than a sign and the pole it sits on.
“You’re typically looking at around $250,000,” said Jacklyn about the signalized intersection. “In this situation, because of hydro poles and other features that are in the neighbourhood and in the intersection, it would be much more expensive.”
With final approval given during this week’s Council meeting, staff will aim to have the sign completed and installed by the upcoming tenth anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre rebuild on Saturday, October 21, 2023.