Loyal readers know my eternal pet peeve: the abundance of traffic signs that make the really important signs invisible. Dutch City of Leeuwarden in the province of Fryslân (“Nation within a nation”) took an important step: removing signs. It is probably no coincidence that well known Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman (1945-2008) comes from Leeuwarden. Now there is a fitting memorial for him: a pile of signs, rather than a bronze statue.
The municipality of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands will soon start to remove about 1000 signs, which is slightly more than 10% of all signs.
The city mentions the three reasons for the removal:
Increasing road safety;
Creating savings because less maintenance is required;
Decreasing clutter in the public space.
Per sign the legal necessity was also taken into consideration. The city also assessed whether the traffic situation is clear without the sign and it considered whether the signage is (still) correct.
Some of the signs are saved for new traffic situations, the rest will be recycled. The plan is that all unnecessary signs are removed by the end of 2016.
Perhaps Ottawa could place a call to ask how Leeuwarden went about the process? Here is the phone number: 011 31-58 233 8888