Committee approves roadside memorial policy; to council Sept. 24

Roadside Memorial in Kitchener, Ontario

A new policy has been passed by committee to regulate the size and amount of time a temporary roadside memorial can be displayed.

A memorial is any temporary decoration placed on a road side to honour some who died in a traffic accident. The memorials often include such items as flowers, toys, notes, and photos.

The city had no mechanism to regulate these displays. They will now be allowed for up to 13 months (modified from the original staff proposal of 12 months) and be limited to a maximum of 3 feet high, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep (modified from staff’s original proposal of two by two by two).

A memorial may be removed if it:

  1. Is more than 13 months from the date of the fatality;
  2. Creates a safety hazard to the public;
  3. Interferes with road/sidewalk/traffic maintenance operations;
  4. Obstructs access to underground infrastructure;
  5. Attracts complaints from adjacent property owners and/or businesses;
  6. Has deteriorated into a state of disrepair.

This policy does not apply to regional roads.

The recommendation from committee heads to the City Council meeting of Sept. 24 at 6:30pm for approval. Residents can attend, watch a live webcast, or Register as a Delegation to speak to this item.

Resources: Temporary Roadside Memorials staff report (RPF-13-18) and Policy

My Take: I supported the recommendation and the two modifications, which provide additional flexibility in size, and allow for a one-year memorial ceremony, before displays are removed. This strikes a good balance between the desire of community members to erect memorials, and ensuring safety, maintenance, and fairness in how they are regulated.


Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

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