Over the last seven months that I have served as your local Councillor, I have had the privilege to meet hundreds of you, answer your questions and, most importantly, help to resolve those matters that affect your quality of life in our community. I have been successful on most files that you have sent my way. We will continue to work on the others, finding innovative ways to resolve them.
Between Town staff and yourselves, you have alerted me to some things over the last little while that, if all of us took these concerns to heart, contemplated how they affect our neighbours and figured out how we could do better, we could help to make living in what is already a great community just that much better.
What follows are some specific areas of focus that will help all of us to become ever greater Miltonians than we already are:
Challenge: Speeding through residential neighbourhoods
Solution: Demographically, Milton is now the youngest community in Halton and one of the youngest in the Greater Toronto Area. That means there are a lot of young people crossing and sometimes playing on our residential streets, riding bicycles and attending our schools. Please follow the speed limit, drive according to the road conditions, watch out for children and, overall, drive defensively. No-one wants to see anyone make a mistake on our streets that they will regret for the rest of their lives.
Challenge: Running red lights
Solution: It has become all too common in Milton, but that doesn’t make it right. It is against the law to run a red light. When you do it, you put your own life at risk as well as someone else’s.
Challenge: Making illegal u-turns
Solution: Making u-turns is legal, except through intersections, where there is signage indicating that you cannot do so and where you cannot clearly see at least 150 metres of roadway in both directions.
Challenge: Not stopping for school buses
Solution: Motorists meeting a stopped school bus with red lights flashing must stop unless they are on a highway divided by a median strip. They cannot proceed until the bus resumes motion and/or the lights have stopped flashing.
Challenge: Not stopping for emergency vehicles
Solution: If you hear or see ambulance, fire or police vehicles with activated sirens and/or flashing lights, get out of the way immediately. Bring your vehicle to a full stop as far to the right-hand side of the road, as possible. Ensure your vehicle is clear of any intersection.
Challenge: Not moving over for parked emergency vehicles
Solution: When an ambulance, fire vehicle, police car or tow truck is parked on the right-hand side of road with emergency lights flashing, slow down and, where possible and where safe to do so, move into the left-hand lane.
Challenge: Driving without lights on
Solution: Just because your interior dashboard lights are on, that doesn’t mean your headlights and tail-lights are on. To ensure your lights are on, turn your headlight switch fully to the on position or leave it in the automatic position permanently. Vehicle lights are required to be on from one half-hour before sunset to one half-hour after sunrise, or at any time where atmospheric conditions prevent vehicles or persons being clearly seen at a distance of 150 meters.
Challenge: Parking over sidewalks and across boulevards
Solution: Parking over a sidewalk or even partially over a sidewalk is illegal. Parking on or partially over a sidewalk also doesn’t allow a pedestrian or someone in a wheelchair to walk or wheel safely along that sidewalk. Parking on the boulevard between the sidewalk and the roadway is legal, unless the driveway is located within 50 metres of an intersection. Then, doing so is illegal. Why? It impairs their ability to turn onto a nearby street.
Challenge: Parking in emergency service routes
Solution: It is illegal to park a car in an emergency service route. These are typically found along the internal or private roads that service townhome developments. These roads are narrower than municipal roads and one illegally parked vehicle can prevent ambulance, fire or police personnel from fighting a fire or saving a life.
Challenge: Allowing long grass and weeds to grow on lawns
Solution: Keep Milton beautiful — cut your lawn and the boulevard in front of your home on a regular basis. Collect the grass cuttings from the sidewalk and the street when you’re done. And, if there is garbage or animal waste on your lawn, pick it up immediately as it is unsightly, smelly and attracts rodents. The Town of Milton’s Clean Yards Bylaw does not permit grass or weeds to be more than 8 inches or 20.32 cm tall. If you are unable to cut your grass because of a physical ailment or disability, please notify the Town.
Challenge: Not keeping sidewalks clear of snow
Solution: Every property owner who has a sidewalk in front of his or her home is required to clear it of snow within 24 hours of a snow fall, according to the Town of Milton’s Snow Clearing Bylaw. If you are unable to clear your sidewalk because of a physical ailment or disability, please notify the Town.
Challenge: Storing recycling bins/garbage bins on the front porch
Solution: The vast majority of homes in Milton have a garage or carport, both of which were designed to store automobiles, lawn mowers, tools and recycling bins/garbage bins. Leaving recycling and garbage bins on your front porch is unsightly, smelly and attracts rodents. It is also a violation of the Town’s Property Standards Bylaw.
Challenge: Placing basketball nets on boulevards
Solution: Basketball nets are permitted to be placed on a driveway or on the edge of the roadway in front of the driveway. Please ensure they are properly secured to prevent a possible injury from a tip-over. Placing them on the boulevard is a violation of the Town’s Road Fouling Bylaw. Doing so has the potential to destroy the grass and damage the trees. Once they are no longer in use, they should immediately be placed in the garage or on the driveway adjacent to the garage.
Challenge: Letting dogs off their leashes
Solution: All dogs must be on a leash while in a park or in the community at-large. Their owners must also pick up after them. The Town of Milton’s Animal Control Bylaw covers off all the do’s and don’t for pets. Dogs are allowed to run free at the Town’s off-leash locations at Cedar Hedge Park West and Sunny Mount Park.
Challenge: Building driveway extensions
Solution: Driveway extensions are permitted on the property owner’s portion of the driveway without a permit, provided the extension meets the Town’s Zoning Bylaw criteria. No extensions are permitted on the public property portion of the driveway. Doing so is a violation of the Town’s Road Fouling Bylaw.
Challenge: Renting out basement apartments
Solution: Basement apartments are illegal, unless application is made to the Town of Milton and permission is granted. Illegal basement apartments put additional pressure on all of the Town’s key services, including hydro, library and recreational facilities, schools, transportation networks, water and sewer infrastructure, etc.
Challenge: Placing commercial signage on boulevards and roadways
Solution: Commercial signage of any kind is not permitted on boulevards and roadways. It is unsightly and distracting and is not permitted under the Town of Milton’s Road Fouling Bylaw. If you want to advertise your services, there are plenty of electronic, online and printed media outlets serving our community that will deliver your message cost-effectively.
Challenge: Putting contractor materials/bins on roadways
Solution: Contractor construction materials, equipment and bins are not permitted to be placed on Town roadways, under the Town’s Road Fouling Bylaw, unless a road occupancy permit is applied for and received.
Challenge: Parking overnight on streets
Solution: No parking on residential streets is permitted between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., unless an on-street parking exception is obtained from the Town of Milton. It is strictly enforced through the Town’s Parking Bylaw.
Challenge: Parking/Making u-turns in school zones
Solution: It is illegal to park, make u-turns or perform other unsafe practices in a school zone. The Town of Milton will be rolling out a zero tolerance, back-toschool campaign in partnership with Halton Regional Police Services in August/September, with particular emphasis during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal times.
Challenge: Illegal use of surveillance camera equipment:
Solution: Surveillance camera equipment can only be used to monitor the perimeter of land that is leased or owned by the occupant. Using it to monitor others off property is illegal and an invasion of their privacy.
Challenge: Writing graffiti on public/private property
Solution: Milton is not New York, Chicago or even Toronto. Graffiti is not consistent with our community’s standards. It’s illegal here. If you want to demonstrate your artistic talent, call me. I’ll work with you to
arrange a showing of your creativity at Milton Arts Centre.
Challenge: Making noise
Solution: Milton’s neighbourhoods are to be quiet between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Depending on the type of noise, the evening hour can be extended to 11 p.m. That’s only fair to those who work, those with young children, those who are struggling with a family matter or others who just want to get a good night’s rest. For the sake of your neighbours, keep the music down, put the Harley to bed early and take the Leafs-Canadiens debate inside.
Here are three other things to think about when it comes to becoming that great Miltonian that we are all striving to be:
Miltonians volunteer: Milton needs more volunteers in every corner of the community, whether it’s a church, service organization or sports group. Think about what you are passionate about, contact that organization and offer to help. If you need assistance in making a volunteer connection, call me. I can help;
Miltonians help one another: If you see a neighbour or someone you don’t even know who is clearly struggling, offer to help. Our community has the necessary resources. If you don’t know who to ask, call me. I can help; and
Miltonians are friendly: Make a point of saying hello to everyone you meet on the street. You just might make a friend for life.