In November 2019, a comprehensive review of the Traffic Bylaw was initiated. The review included several stakeholder meetings to review the bylaw in detail and discuss potential amendments and their consequences.
Both technical and substantive amendments are proposed. The technical amendments include simplifying the wording, removing redundant wording, combining like sections, re-organizing the bylaw for logical flow and creating more headings and sub-headings so the bylaw is easier to follow. The more substantive amendments included defining terms for clarity, removing unnecessary or problematic sections, adding new sections to address current issues in the City, and adding/removing sections to address legal issues. The substantive amendments and the rationale for them are outlined in the attached “Traffic Bylaw Tracking Sheet – Proposed Amendments”.
The substantive amendments that have significant policy implications are:
1. Recreational Vehicles on Highways - section 4.15(b), (c) and (d)
Individuals will not be permitted to park their Recreational Vehicles on a highway on a long-term basis. Parking Recreational Vehicles on highways creates a safety risk because:
- due to their size they obstruct sight lines, and access to intersections and driveways; and
- they impede pedestrian and vehicular traffic, including emergency vehicles particularly on narrower highways.
2. Loiter – section 4.9
This section provides a tool to allow a Peace Officer to approach a vehicle to ascertain the reason and purpose of the occupant’s intentions for being parked in a particular location. This section is not directed towards the general public, but towards individuals who may be engaging in illegal activities or have no clear purpose for being parked in a particular location.
3. Prohibition of Driveway Aids – section 8.1(c)
Driveway Aids are a problem because they can damage Public Works maintenance equipment or prevent proper surface drainage, the cost and impact of which are quite significant.
During snow removal operations, Driveway Aids get pulled into snow blowers, which cause damage and lost production.
Driveway Aids also prevent street sweepers from effectively sweeping because they have to be driven around. This results in natural debris remaining on the highway, which can be a safety hazard to vehicular traffic. Materials and pollutants left on the highway can also migrate into the stormwater system.
Driveway Aids also obstruct stormwater runoff from flowing freely along the edge of the roadway into the stormwater catch basins. This can result in water pooling, which may cause long-term damage to the roadway and boulevard.
Prior to any enforcement of the prohibition of Driveway Aids, there will be a public awareness campaign advising of the prohibition.
4. Unduly Disturb – section 15.7
The amended bylaw allows the enforcement on an unduly disturbance at any time of the day. This will result in the means to enforce and ticket for excessive noise in residential areas and will assist in the promotion of more peaceful and tranquil neighbourhoods.
5. Permit Regulations – section 17
The current bylaw speaks to the requirement of a Permit for certain activities on a highway, but does not address regulations around Permits. Section 17 was added to address this. These regulations and the enforcement of same are important because if an individual undertakes an activity without a Permit or does not follow the terms and conditions of a Permit, this can put people and property at risk.
6. Parking on Snow Routes Fine – Schedule 1
The fine for parking on a snow route has been reduced from $172.00 to $115.00. The rationale for this is that a Vehicle parked on a snow route that is in effect will be towed. This means the owner will have to pay the removal and impound charges to retrieve their Vehicle on top of paying the fine. It can be an onerous cost to pay a fine, removal fee and impound fee and so by lowering the fine amount, this lessens the overall cost while still ensuring the cost acts as deterrent to contravention of this section.
There were number of other substantive amendments that have minor policy impacts:
Amending the definition for Transit Zone to ensure buses have adequate room to safely and efficiently pickup and drop off passengers – section 1.51.
- Adding specific prohibition on Industrial / Commercial Waste and Storage Containers placed on a highway – section 8.6.
- Outlining appropriate bicycle conduct – section 15.1
- Adding prohibition on crossing sidewalks, boulevards or medians with a motor vehicle except where authorized – section 15.2
- Adding prohibition on a littering on highway – section 15.4
- Adding prohibition on driving a motor vehicle in an open space area unless operated on a roadway or authorized by a permit – 15.8
- Adding prohibition on stunting or other activity that would interfere with users of a highway – section 15.9
This comprehensive review resulted in a significant amount of amendments. For this reason, the current version of the bylaw is proposed to be repealed and replaced by proposed C-1123-20 - Traffic Bylaw. In lieu of a redline copy, Administration has attached to this agenda report a copy of the proposed bylaw, the current bylaw, and a tracking sheet that documents each change and the rationale for the change.