Morinville’s current 50km/h speed limit could drop to 40km/h in residential areas if the Town’s new Traffic Safety bylaw passes the second and third reading. – File Photo
by Colin Smith
A 40km/h speed limit will come to Morinville if a new traffic safety bylaw is adopted.
The residential speed limit reduction is one of several changes in the proposed traffic safety bylaw given first reading by town council at its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14.
William Norton, Sergeant and Supervisor, Enforcement Services told council that there are a few substantial changes, but the proposed bylaw is largely the same as the traffic safety bylaw it is to replace, enacted in January of 2013.
However, Norton said it is preferable to have a new bylaw rather than amending the current one.
“The traffic bylaw is a key tool,” he said. “It’s a major driver for enforcement services in ensuring the quality of life and the safety of our citizens and the community.”
The 40km/h speed limit would apply throughout the town except on 100 Avenue, 100 Street and Cardiff Road.
Other proposed changes include a requirement for helmets for youths using wheeled conveyances other than bicycles, such as skateboards, roller skates and scooters, new hours for school zones and playground zones, and restrictions on school bus flashing lights.
There would also be truck route changes and penalties for highway damage and “tracking,” where commercial vehicles bring dirt and debris from off-road locations onto the town’s roadways.
“The duty to protect the road network is one of the expensive things we undertake,” said Norton. “It’s something we should always have in the back of our minds.”
The bylaw would also enable Morinville officers to do parking enforcement on private property at the owner’s request.
One measure dealing with snow clearing has already seen changes at council’s hands.
The bylaw, as presented to council, included a timeline of 48 hours for residents to clear their sidewalks after a snowfall, while businesses would need to have their walks cleaned in 24 hours.
A successful amendment put forward by Councillor Scott Richards will result in a change of the timelines to 72 hours and 48 hours when the proposed bylaw is presented for second reading.
Off-Highway Vehicle Pilot Project Possible
Following the first reading, council passed a subsequent motion by Councillor Ray White directing administration to bring forward for council’s consideration a pilot project for off-highway vehicle use on roads in the town of Morinville.
“I think it could be a big win for the community,” said White, who pointed to the convenience of being able to drive an off-highway vehicle to the carwash, for gas or to nearby locations such as the Fish and Game Pond, rather than having to load it up.
White’s motion followed a presentation earlier in the meeting by Morinville resident Matt Baty, who urged councillors to amend the traffic bylaw to allow for off-highway vehicles in town. He noted this is something that has been done in Legal.
“It’s pretty important,” Baty said. “I feel our town is a rural community and we’ve been losing focus on that over time.”
Norton said that after passage of first reading, the next step would be a legal review, followed by information going out to affected sectors such as the trucking community, school board and school bus companies, as well as the general public.
The bylaw is scheduled to be brought back before council for second reading in April, although that might be delayed by development of the off-highway vehicle pilot project, with third reading to follow in June.
When passed, the implementation of changes will take place in stages. School bus flashing lights restrictions and new school zone hours are to come into effect this year. Changes to the residential speed limit, truck routes and playground zone hours will take place in 2024.
Costs associated with the traffic bylaw changes would include $10,000 for replacement of all speed signs on residential roads, information tabs for playground and school zones and truck route signage.
Development and implementation of a communications plan to spread the word about the changes will cost $7,500.
Maybe just maybe council should focus on the gong show 4 way stop at the Circle K consisting of drivers who don’t know how to navigate a 4 way stop, soccer mom’s driving their lazy entitled kids to skool and meandering kids using the crosswalk oblivious to the traffic jam they have created. Yes I know they did studies, stared at the moon, asked their pet gold fish and other fackery but for the love of god do something!