Maple Ridge, BC: On Tuesday, November 12, Council passed the new Safer Streets Bylaw and updated the City’s Highway & Traffic Bylaw as part of a broader Community Social Safety Initiative known as ‘LEAD Maple Ridge’. LEAD derives its name from the acronym of the plan development process ‘Listen, Engage, Assess & Deliver.’ The upcoming public consultation for development of this plan was endorsed by Council on October 29, 2019.
“Both pieces of legislation are intended to address concerns citizens have voiced regarding safety in our community. The objective is to give our Community Safety Officers the tools they need to ensure our citizens feel safe in their day to day activities,” said Mayor Morden.
He continued, “The Safer Streets Bylaw has been enacted to address aggressive solicitation occurring in our City. We heard from many citizens, especially seniors and those with young children, who raised concerns about solicitation at ATM locations, around daycare facilities and other types of businesses.” “As this new bylaw comes into effect, we’ve asked that staff focus on education and engagement with people in the community. This work seeks to balance the rights of all citizens to have safe streets. Our Community Safety Officers are also working with local social service agencies to connect individuals struggling financially, or those dealing with mental health concerns or addiction with the help they need.”
“The Highway & Traffic Bylaw update will be complaint based enforcement and is meant to ensure people using our sidewalks are doing so respectfully and safely,” said Mayor Morden, “this change aligns our traffic bylaw with other cities in BC and prepares our community for future ride sharing services.” The challenges that local governments are dealing with in the region are complicated and require action on a wide array of fronts, from housing to new approaches in how we are deploying resources on the front lines.