New traffic bylaw brings significant change to Canora

Drivers in Canora should be prepared for a variety of new regulations after Canora Town Council passed an entirely new traffic bylaw on October 20.

The previous bylaw was in place since 1993 and the current document contained many, many additions and revisions made since then, said Michael Mykytyshyn, chief administrative officer. “With the number of revisions, several of which were actually contradictory, it was becoming difficult to keep track. As a result, council felt it was time to update the entire document,” said Mykytyshyn.

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Arguably the biggest change in the new bylaw will involve the operation of heavy trucks and trailers in town.

“The previous bylaw restricted truck traffic in town by weight, but enforcement was problematic,” explained Mykytyshyn. “It has become increasingly common for drivers to bring heavy trucks into residential areas and potentially cause damage to roads that are not built for that type of traffic. The provincial Highway Traffic department only provides enforcement of weight on a highway and RCMP are not equipped to prove weight. This meant that there was effectively no way to prove that anyone was in violation of the bylaw, which is a requirement if tickets were to be enforced through the court system.”

The new traffic bylaw now not only has weight restrictions, but classifies heavy trucks and trailers by number of axles as well. Effective immediately, no person shall operate any vehicle with a multi-rear axle on any roadway in the Town.

“However, there are some exceptions,” said Mykytyshyn. “Multi-rear axle vehicles are permitted if they are a recreational vehicle being towed by a single axle power unit, making a delivery or seeking repairs; or travelling on the designated Heavy Vehicle / Dangerous Goods Route.

“The actual Heavy Haul/Dangerous Goods Route has changed too. The former designated route was in place for more than 30 years, but traffic volumes and patterns have changed during that time causing some residents to express concerns to council regarding the original route.”

Now, heavy trucks will no longer be allowed on the paved portion of Daniels Drive between Highway No. 9 and the CN railway crossing. Pacific Street was never a heavy haul route and trucks will no longer be permitted to travel there either. Council is requiring trucks accessing the seed cleaning plant to use Koziar Street off of Highway No. 5.

As provincial highways, Railway Avenue and Norway Road will remain part of the heavy haul route.

 

“Again, there is an exception to the new rules if trucks are making deliveries or seeking repairs within the corporate limits of Canora,” outlined Mykytyshyn. “The new bylaw also contains a provision for overweight or oversize permits which can grant one-time passage away from the heavy haul route if necessary.

“Signage to reflect these changes to the heavy haul route will soon be installed and council has already discussed enforcement with RCMP. It is anticipated that there will need to be a bit of an educational/transition period..”

Another significant change is an increase to the allowable time for on-street parking. Where there used to be a maximum 24-hour limit, it is now 72 hours.

Also new is the designation of school safety patrollers and the requirement that vehicles stop for them, or face a penalty under the bylaw.

“Some of the updates reflect the changes that have occurred or become common since the time of the original bylaw. For example, the new bylaw outlines basic flagging or marking requirements for mobility scooters to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Mykytyshyn.

“As with the previous bylaw, the operation of snowmobiles remains permitted and the rules haven’t changed. Snowmobiles may be operated between 8 a.m. and midnight on any roadway, except Highway No. 5 and No. 9 and Main Street, where only crossing is permitted.”

The permitted operation of ATVs and golf carts is covered by separate bylaws and not affected by the new traffic bylaw.

Designated school and playground zones remain unchanged. But reduced speed limits in those areas are now in effect 24 hours a day.

The 1993 bylaw required approval by Highway Traffic Board. That is no longer the case and the new traffic bylaw came into effect upon council’s approval in October. But signs will need to be installed on Daniels Drive regarding the heavy haul route changes before enforcement will begin.

The bylaw can be viewed at www.canora.com