By Trevor Busch
The Village of Barnwell is implementing a new traffic bylaw for the community in an effort to upgrade the village’s previous bylaw, which had become outdated.
At their Feb. 12 meeting, council voted unanimously to pass third and final reading of Traffic Bylaw 1-15, with the amendment to remove Sec. N-9 (a+b) from the final document.
Bylaw 1-15 is intended to regulate and control vehicle, animal and pedestrian traffic within the municipality.
“The last one was back in 1980, and parking fines were $7,” said CAO Wendy Bateman. “Who is going to move their vehicle for $7? The police asked us if we would please update our bylaw.”
After extensive discussion, council ordered Sec. N-9 (a+b) to be struck from the final document. An inclusion under miscellaneous offences, Sec. N-9 prohibited the riding, walking, or driving of any horse or any other animal, with the exception of small pets on a leash, on any sidewalk, trailway, boulevard, park, roadway or any other public place within the Village of Barnwell.
Under the deleted section, this would not have applied to rodeos, parades, or any other activities approved in advance by the village administrator.
“We have provisions for the rodeo and the parade, but one of the things we have two or three times a year — I don’t know who it is, but somebody locally — they have a hay ride through town,” said Coun. Darrell Turner. “Is that going to stop that?”
Under the previous bylaw, according to Bateman individuals intending to ride horses within the boundaries of the municipality should have notified the village office and sought a special dispensation for that action.
“They don’t, but they should,” said Bateman.
Interested parties should still contact and notify village offices, according to Mayor Eric Jensen.
“If we have people inquiring, send them to the (village) office.”
Turner was initially satisfied with the inclusion of Sec. N-9, but the clause was ultimately removed by council prior to final reading of the bylaw.
“I’m fine with it, I just wanted to make sure that wasn’t stopped. We’ll just leave it. If it becomes an issue we can always deal with it. We’ve been waiting for this for six or eight months, I think it’s time.”
Under the new bylaw, unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on regular thoroughfares will remain 50 kph. Speed limits for alleys will be 15 kph. Vehicles with lugs (metal spikes, lugs, cleats, bands, or caterpiller treads) are prohibited without special authorization.
For pedestrians, the bylaw prohibits persons from standing on any roadway, crosswalk, or sidewalk in a manner which “obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic”, “annoys or inconveniences any other person”, or “obstructs the entrance to any building”. This will also include any person running on a roadway “in such a manner as to impede traffic”.
Parking restrictions include a prohibition against parking a vehicle in an alley, except when loading or unloading; parking unattached trailers on roadways, and placing a 72 hour limit on parking with a recreational trailer between May and September; semi, semi-trailers, or semi-trailers with pup trailer attached; parking in a public park, playground or recreational area; and sidewalks, boulevards or crosswalks, among other specific restrictions.
The bylaw also sets maximum weights, governs the use of heavy vehicles, sets down guidelines for transport of inflammable or explosive materials, and exemptions from parking provisions under certain circumstances. Other areas of focus include temporary closure of roadways, snow and ice removal, and miscellaneous offences.
Miscellaneous offences include a prohibition against placing an extension cord across a sidewalk or boulevard; burning materials on a roadway, boulevard or sidewalk; coasting on a sled, toboggan, skis or other conveyance, except bicycles or rollerblades; coasting on a roadway attached to a motor vehicle by hands, rope, or other means of being pulled.
Guidelines also govern the general conduct of pedestrians bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating or rollerblading when meeting other pedestrians on sidewalks or roadways.
Mayor Jensen pointed out that while passing bylaws within a municipality often looks good on paper, council must always be cognizant of the difficulties encountered in enforcement.
“That’s the problem with bylaws. We put these things in place, but then we also have to worry about the enforce-ability of them.”
Offences under Bylaw 1-15 carry fines, including speed limit ($100), traffic control devices ($100), crossing a fire line ($150), use of lugs on roadway without permit ($150), heavy vehicle off truck route ($150), inflammable and explosive materials ($150), pedestrian traffic ($75), parking ($75), snow removal ($75), and miscellaneous offences ($75).