Council given draft of Roadside Memorial Policy

By Jessica Dempsey

May 23, 2018 12:26 PM

File Photo

Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) members were presented with a draft Roadside Memorial Policy on Tuesday.
There has been no policy dedicated to the removal of roadside memorials, and there have been requests in the past to remove ones that have not be maintained.
“People have wanted to leave a marker to determine it as a point of a memorial, and we felt that was important, but at the same time we also had complaints after a period of time,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
The draft policy states roadside memorials shall not be located on the “travelled portion of the roadway, medians, traffic islands, sidewalks, bicycle paths or multi-use trails; impede site lines; be larger than 1 meter by 1 meter.”
It also states admiration will leave the memorial in place for up to six months following the incident.
However, it may be removed prior to the six months if it is not being maintained, in compliance with the rules set above or interferes with a construction project.
“I think six months is a very reasonable length of time for that to happen,” said Aalbers.
If after the six months period is over, Aalbers said there could be a discussion of putting up a memorial bench as an example or something along those lines.
“There are certainly opportunities for discussion with city administration. We will work with families and people that have suffered a loss, especially on the streets of our city that would like to make that a permanent mark for their life as well,” he said.
The policy indicates prior to the removal date the people responsible for the memorial will be notified if they wish to keep anything and to be informed of memorial programs throughout the city.
If the person cannot be reached the city will continue to try and make contact for a grace period of not less than one month before the roadside memorial can be removed.

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