24 April 2009


The neighbourhood of weird signs

Most of the street-name signs in Burnaby, the Vancouver suburb where I live, are the standard metal stick-out-from-the-post type, like this one:

Normal sign

However, a couple of decades ago, just up the block from us, the city installed this one, entirely vertical in design and mounted on a girder rather than a post. And I haven't seen another like it anywhere in Greater Vancouver:

Weird sign

It's not genuinely bizarre—it's still white on green, and if all the signs were like that, things would work just fine. I just wonder why it's different from all the rest. (UPDATE: In the comments, visitor RentingSucks provides the explanation, which is funny, and logical.)

Across the street from those two is this masterpiece, which I still consider the most confusing road sign ever:

World's most confusing road sign

Maybe there's a secret road sign experimentation division down by Burnaby City Hall that I don't know about, and our street is its main lab.

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Man, I just thought you were making a pun on 'Mate-land' and 'Sus-sex'.
It's signs like that that cause most accidents.
I've lived in this neighbourhood since 1971, so the potential double entendres in street names don't even register with me anymore.
Don't forget the rhino crossing sign in North Van...

Yeah, I am confused too!
The Harley sign is specially reinforced because it kept getting stolen. Apparently it looks good in a biker den as it references a very popular motrocycle. I heard this from people that live on that street.
Well, how about that? Since that street is so short, that's the only sign for it too. Very clever. I wish I'd had the Internet to find that out back when it was originally installed.

Incidentally, back then a house kitty-corner from mine, and about three blocks from the sign, was a biker clubhouse, so that might have been extra incentive.

Thanks for the long-awaited answer!