Hamilton is developing a policy governing the erection of roadside memorials that are becoming more common following fatal vehicle accidents. The staff rep[ort noted, “Hamilton is developing a policy governing the erection of roadside memorials that are becoming more common following fatal vehicle accidents. The new policy will pace a time limit on the duration of the memorial of 18 months, after which the persons who installed the memorial will be expected to remove it or it will be done by the city. Mike Field, Acting Director, Transportation Operations & Maintenance told the Public Works Committee that if a memorial is removed by the city every effort will be made to store the elements of the display that are not perishable. He also noted that the new policy will not apply to existing memorials which will be grandfathered.
The policy sets out regulations for ensuring the memorials are located far enough from the roadway to be safe and that their size shall be limited to one metre in length, width and height. The regulation would also require those who erect memorial to provide the city with contact information in order to coordinate removal at the end of the 18-month period.
Field told the committee that the Hamilton proposed regulations align with policies developed by other municipalities in Ontario. The committee approved the policy which will now go to council for ratification.
The staff report noted, “It is recognized that the placement of roadside memorials at or near an accident site to commemorate victims of tragic events occurs and that the erection of these memorials can aid grieving family and friends to respectfully honor a victim’s memory. While recognizing why roadside memorials are made, this Policy outlines the City’s approach to managing these memorials to ensure public safety as the City of Hamilton is committed to providing a safe, accessible and efficient transportation system for the movement of people, goods and services across the City in keeping with applicable provincial legislation, accepted standards, and Council approved service levels.”