This set of signs on the south side of Manitoba Street at Main Street North is the last one showing how to get on to Highway 2 South between Main Street North and Main Street South. Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
Driving through Moose Jaw isn’t usually a challenge, but if you have never been in the Friendly City you might find it difficult.
That difficulty is enhanced when signs that should be pointing you in the right direction do not exist.
Unfortunately for Carole LaBelle’s daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren, they found this out the hard way.
Earlier this summer, Carole LaBelle’s daughter’s family was travelling from Penticton, B.C., to Ormiston, Sask., for a visit. They had been on the road for three days.
“They called from a restaurant on Moose Jaw’s North Hill to say they were on their way here and should arrive soon,” said Labelle in a letter written to the Times-Herald. “We told them to follow the instructions we gave them: Highway 2 South, to (Highway) 36 South, to Cardross Corner, etc.”
LaBelle noted that the family of six followed the signs on Main Street North and turned left on to Manitoba Street East. Except instead of turning right on to Main Street South, they continued driving, merging on to the Trans-Canada Highway.
They finally called LaBelle when they arrived in Pense, asking if they had gone too far or missed the turnoff. Apparently they had not seen a sign notifying them where on Manitoba Street East they needed to turn to hit Highway 2 South.
The family eventually made their way back into Moose Jaw, where travelling west on Manitoba Street East they saw a sign telling them to turn left on to Highway 2 South.
They made it to Ormiston, but after two extra hours of driving and having spent more on gas than anticipated.
“We doubted their story about no sign,” noted LaBelle. “But they are correct. There is no sign.”
The Times-Herald walked south down Main Street North and headed east on Manitoba Street East to where the family should have initially turned to get on to Highway 2 South. True to LaBelle’s written words, there is indeed no sign telling drivers where to turn on to Highway 2 South.
In her letter, LaBelle claims she contacted the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, Moose Jaw City Hall and its engineering department, only to get the runaround from all of them.
“In the interest of travellers, we feel proper signage is essential to make their travels easy and comfortable,” said LaBelle.
The Times-Herald received her letter and contacted the city’s engineering department where Mahabub Zaman, manager of engineering services, admitted that it is the city’s responsibility to have provincial highway signs in place.
“If there (are) any missing signs we can take care of that,” said Zaman.
The city’s public works manager, Duane Grado noted that the city doesn’t make provincial signs like the Highway 2 South sign needed on Manitoba Street East, between Main Street North and Main Street South. That is the responsibility of the provincial ministry.
“Once you deal with provincial regulations and signs, you have to make sure you put up the sign according to the way they make them – the size and the colour,” explained Grado.
Both Zaman and Grado were unsure if there has ever been a sign along that stretch of Manitoba Street East.
Asked if the sign will be up by the end of October, Zaman responded, “I hope so.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.