Letter to the editor 4, April 6, 2017

Sign of the times

Dear Editor,

During this past winter there has been a bit of a mystery regarding local snow clearing signs.

At various places around St. Lazare there are snow clearing signs, some with a picture of a snow plough followed by a question mark, others with the snow plough followed by a picture of a snail in a yellow triangle, and then others with the snow plough followed by ’5 H.’

Normally a question mark means an information centre, which in this case means to phone 311. The snail in a yellow triangle means Ralentissez or Slow. Then there are the others with the snow plough followed by ’5 H’ and the word patience.

A capital H usually means Hospital, but 5 what? Certainly not hospitals, maybe 5 hours, but hours is usually abbreviated as hr. (or in French hre.) and if it is 5 hours, does that mean snow clearing starts at 5, or finishes at 5, or takes 5 hours? Hence the mystery.

At one time, I thought the town of St. Lazare might be running a competition as to whoever can interpret all of the signs correctly, wins a prize, as signs must convey a simple message at a glance

It is amazing that the residents of St. Lazare have managed to survive all the past winters without these expensive signs, but we can only hope that if expensive snow clearing signs are posted next winter, someone in the town hall will use more understandable signs, pictograms or standard ‘signalisation routière,’ or maybe even announce another ‘mystery competition’ in the Your Local Journal next fall.

Alan Nicol

St. Lazare

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