Council continues actions to deter drivers from parking in front of arena

MINDEMOYA—Pylons will continue to be put up in a location in front of the Mindemoya arena, as well as no parking signs on the arena doors, to deter people from parking directly in front of the facility when hockey and other events are taking place inside the arena.

“I’ve had a problem with this motion,” said Councillor Derek Stephens, at a council meeting last week. “We had received permission from the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) for putting pylons in front of the arena every time there is an event. Now we have signs up for no parking on the arena door front and the MTO no parking signs. I don’t think staff should have to go out there and put pylons down when there are signs in place now.”

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“I don’t see any problem with it,” stated Mayor Richard Stephens. “It just means taking a little bit of extra care and providing for safety.”

“This went through the property committee for the pylons to be put out,” said Councillor Dale Scott. “The pylons have been put out in the past and have been found to work. He said police would have to be there and watch people parking in a no parking area, and have to give out tickets individually. “And they can’t do this randomly by putting tickets on cars, they would need to ticket the person driving a vehicle in person.” He noted the penalty for parking in a spot that has been designated as no parking is $40.

“This is the same problem Billings Township council is having with the bridge at Bridal Veil Falls,” said Councillor Scott. “Kevin Webb (Staff Sergeant for the Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police) said (at a recent meeting) he didn’t see the MTO no parking signs near the arena. They are too small and are in a bad location. I still think we need to discuss this with the MTO as to the signs in place.”

“The police have definitely recognized that this is a safety issue,” said Councillor Scott. “With children walking across the road and little vision for drivers or walkers when there are a lot of vehicles in front of the arena.”

Mayor Stephens noted that the OPP won’t monitor the arena area unless they are directed from the municipality to do so, and the municipality is charged for this service.

And they won’t ticket someone until they enter their vehicle, said Councillor Scott.

“The pylons have worked beautifully in the past,” said Councillor Scott. “We just need to get the message out and educate the public, not only our residents but visitors as well.”

Right now the MTO-posted signs near the arena are behind a telephone pole, said Clerk Ruth Frawley.

“We changed (lowered) the speed limits near the elementary school (CMPS), and they monitored the area. We pay an extravagant amount to the OPP every year,” said Councillor Stephens. “Now we have to pay them to monitor parking, and it will cost us to for them to do their job.”

It was explained by Mayor Stephens, “the OPP billing is based on the time the police spend in the municipality.”

Council, with Councillor Stephens in opposition, passed the motion “whereas council has recognized the safety issue caused by parking directly in front of the Mindemoya Arena and whereas council has requested and received permission from  the Ministry of Transportation to temporarily use orange safety pylons to prohibit parking in this area; and whereas the ministry of transportation has placed ‘no parking signs’ in front of the arena at councils request. Be it resolved that council directs municipal staff to continue the use of pylons transitionally for the balance of the current minor hockey season, and to inform the public of the new parking restrictions, and to notify the local OPP to begin enforcement of the no parking zone as required.”