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RFD- 4124 Bylaws   Item #   10. b.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 11/09/2020  
Title:    C-1123-20 - Traffic Bylaw - First Reading - Levasseur
Presenter: Corey Levasseur
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: Citizens feel safe within their communities.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
First reading of C-1123-20 - Traffic Bylaw is being brought forward for Council's consideration. This proposed bylaw is a result of a comprehensive review of the existing Traffic Bylaw C-911-15, and includes both minor changes to clean-up and re-organize the bylaw and more substantive amendments to address current traffic-related enforcement issues. 
Proposed Motion
That first reading be given to Bylaw C-1123-20 - Traffic Bylaw.
Background/Analysis
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”. Any references in red in the “Traffic Bylaw Tracking Sheet – Proposed Amendments” are revisions that have been made to address Council's feedback at the October 19, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting. Due to the number of amendments, the current version of the bylaw is proposed to be repealed and replaced by proposed C-1123-20 - Traffic Bylaw.

The substantive amendments that have significant policy implications are:

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.
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.
 
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.

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. 

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 a deterrent to contravention of this section.

Prohibition of Driveway Aids – section 8.7

Please see description below.


Based on feedback from Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on October 19, 2020, the following further amendments were made to the proposed bylaw:

Driveway Aids - section 8.7

The reference to Driveway Aids was removed from section 8.1(c) which indicates that an obstruction is prohibited unless a permit is obtained and a new section dedicated specifically to Driveway Aids was added under section 8.7. The intention is to maintain an outright prohibition on Driveway Aids given the significant cost and impact that they have. Driveway Aids are a significant problem because they can damage Public Works maintenance equipment, allow debris to remain on the roadway and prevent proper surface drainage.

In winter, during snow removal operations, Driveway Aids get pulled into snow blowers, which cause damage and lost production. The cost to remedy the damage can be quite high, and with a snow blower out of commission this means either the City has to pay to contract out the snow removal or reduce service levels.

Driveway Aids also prevent street sweepers from effectively sweeping because this results in natural debris remaining on the highway, which can be a safety hazard to vehicular traffic. Materials and pollutants left on the roadway can also migrate into the stormwater system.

Driveway Aids obstruct stormwater runoff from flowing freely along the edge of the roadway into the stormwater catch basins and during heavy rainfalls the Driveway Aid itself can be washed onto the stormwater catch basin. This can result in flooding of public and private property which can cause significant damage, be quite costly to fix and expose the City to liability.

By maintaining an outright prohibition the City's legal exposure is reduced in the event major flooding occurs or debris remains on the roadway causing vehicle damage because of the obstruction caused by the Driveway Aid.

Prior to any enforcement of the prohibition of Driveway Aids, there will be a public awareness campaign advising of the prohibition.

Other Options for Regulating Driveway Aids 

Seasonal Ban: The bylaw could be amended to institute a seasonal ban, where Driveway Aids are banned in the winter, but are allowed during the warmer months. However, this option does not mitigate the issues with debris, materials and pollutants remaining on the roadway because street sweepers have to drive around them, the safety issue debris poses to vehicular traffic, the issue of materials and pollutants migrating into the stormwater system, or with flooding that can occur because stormwater cannot flow freely. Due to increasingly unpredictable weather a seasonal allowance of Driveway Aids may also be problematic because it is quite plausible that a large snowfall event could occur well into May or as early as September. Into the fall there is also an issue with Driveway Aids freezing to the roadway, making them difficult to remove once a winter ban takes effect.

Obtain a Permit: The bylaw could also be amended to allow individuals to obtain a permit to use a Driveway Aid. However, this would be counter to efforts to create efficiencies and reduce red tape. Criteria would have to be established indicating what an acceptable Driveway Aid is and maintaining a permitting program around Driveway Aids would be an onerous process. Furthermore, allowing Driveway Aids if one obtains a permit does not address the significant cost and operational issues that Driveway Aids can cause.

Power Bicycles and Other Devices - section 15

A definition for Power Bicycles has been added under section 1.39 and the term has been added to section 15 which regulates Bicycles. Given the rapid pace of technological innovation, since not all products and devices can be foreseen, section 15 accounts for these products and devices by using the wording "or similar device". Section 15.1(b) indicates that no person shall use various products or devices such as a "Bicycle, Power Bicycle, scooter, roller blades, skateboards, sled, toboggan, skis or similar device in such a way as to create a hazard to the public...".

Specific ride sharing services utilizing products such as "e-bikes" or "e-scooters" would be reviewed upon notice that a company wishes to conduct business in the City using these products/services. Depending on the specifics of the product/service, the bylaw may be amended. It is difficult to regulate these products/services until is known specifically what the product or service is.

Playground Area vs. Playground Zone - section 1.36 and 1.37

A definition for Playground Area was added under section 1.36 and under section 1.37 wording was added to make clear that Playground Areas are separate and distinct from a Playground Zone.

Simplification of Section 8.2(c)

The wording in section 8.2(c) was simplified to make it easier to understand and the section was split into two sections for clarity. Section 8.2(c) is specific to maintenance by private property owners of turfgrass in the boulevard and section 8.2(d) is specific to private property owners keeping the boulevard free of landscape developments.

Bicycles Conduct - section 15

Section 15.1(a)(i)(B) has been amended to indicate that persons riding a bicycle who are about to overtake another person can notify that other person by using audible warning devices other than just a bell.

Fine for Not Staying on Sidewalk During Parade, Procession or Special Event - section 7.2

The fine for not staying on the sidewalk during a Parade, Procession or Special Event has been reduced from $172.00 to $115.00. The fine is not  directed towards persons who may temporarily step off the sidewalk, but rather to persons who intentionally try to obstruct a Parade, Procession or Special Event. 

A redline of the amendments to the proposed bylaw based on Council's feedback at the October 19, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting is attached. 
 
Options/Alternatives
This item is for first reading only. Council may choose not to give consideration to this bylaw by defeating the motion for first reading.

C-724-09 - Council Procedure Bylaw states that Council shall vote on the motion for first reading of a bylaw without amendment or debate. Discussion and changes may be made during second reading, which is scheduled to come before Council at the November 23, 2020 Council meeting.
Consultation/Engagement
The City Clerk’s Office was the project lead for the comprehensive review of the Traffic Bylaw. The stakeholders that were consulted during the stakeholder meetings were Enforcement Services, Engineering, Public Works, Planning and Development, Recreation, Communications, Insurance and Risk Management and Cultural Services. Legal counsel reviewed the proposed bylaw and had no significant concerns from a legal perspective.

The Community Road Safety Advisory Committee (CRSAC) organizational meeting is scheduled for November 18, 2020 and subsequent to this meeting they will create a work plan which will identify the CRSAC's key priorities and goals based on its mandate as set out in the C-1098-19 - Community Road Safety Advisory Committee Bylaw. Based on their work plan, the CRSAC may choose to review the Traffic Bylaw from a safety policy perspective and make recommendations to Council regarding same. 
Implementation/Communication
The proposed Traffic Bylaw will be brought forward for second and third reading at a subsequent Council Meeting. 

Once approved, a few significant policy changes will be communicated to residents via a public awareness campaign. Enforcement Services staff will be briefed on the new and amended changes to ensure effective enforcement.
Impacts
The amended Traffic Bylaw will result in a bylaw that is easier to follow and understand and will help address enforcement issues that are currently occurring in the City.
Attachments
Proposed C-1123-20 Traffic Bylaw - Clean Copy
Proposed C-1123-20 Traffic Bylaw - Redline (COW Meeting Feedback)
Traffic Bylaw Tracking Sheet - Proposed Amendments
Current C-911-15 Traffic Bylaw

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