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Council Briefs
Survey coming for possible citywide helmet bylaw

Candace Thomson
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A helmet bylaw is going to be drafted, and with it the organization of an educational program promoting safe bicycle use, and explaining the safety benefits of helmets.

The debate surrounding whether or not there should be a helmet bylaw has been going on since 2002, but the suggestion of a bylaw has been rejected every time in the past.

The bylaw is going to be "all-inclusive," but the issue council is now dealing with is to whom all-inclusive applies

City councillor Niels Konge asked what it meant during the council meeting on Feb. 10. He wanted to know what ages it applied to, and if "all-inclusive" meant all forms of wheeled transportation, i.e. bicycles, roller blades, and skateboards.

"The majority feeling at the time was all ages and all wheeled modes of transportation, skateboards, roller blades and bicycles," said Mayor Mark Heyck.

A public survey will be coming out in the next two months asking Yellowknifers who a new helmet bylaw should effect. Heyck suggested an online survey would also be instituted, as well as open houses so the council can determine what the public wants from the bylaw.

City to consult on Bartesko Court property

A motion was carried in council Feb. 10 to direct administration to work with developer TC Enterprises to consult the public on whether or not the city should remove the density cap on Bartesko Court.

Tony Chang, co-president of TC Enterprises, approached council during the Feb. 10 committee meeting to ask them to remove the density cap, a request which has been rejected three times since 2003.

Chang wants to build a 48-unit apartment building on the property, much to the chagrin of neighbours.

"In the many years that this has come forward, this is the first time it looks like the parties are willing to work together so I'm looking forward to what's going to come together," said Coun. Bob Brookes.

Couns Cory Vanthuyne, Phil Moon Son and Adrian Bell did not support the motion.

"I feel like we already know where the residents stand on this," said Bell. "We shouldn't waste administration's time and try not to cause undue stress on the residents."

Bell said he had spoken with a resident who lived in the area when the first Bartesko Court apartment building was erected, and said that resident faced "real property value loss."

"While I'm all for consultation in some instances, I think we should save ourselves a little time and save residents the stress of facing deterioration of property value," Bell said.

The motion carried with Couns. Vanthuyne, Moon Son and Bell opposed.

Bell: Nine-hour parking meters should be free for seniors

The nine-hour parking metres exclusively along Veteran's Memorial Drive (49th Avenue) aren't available to seniors, and Coun. Adrian Bell says they should be.

He asked whether or not it was true that senior parking passes didn't work in the nine-hour metres, which Dennis Marchiori, public safety director, confirmed.

"There are seniors who live near those parking metres and their guests who are also seniors, who can't park in front of the houses and occasionally want to park (along 49th Avenue)," Bell argued.

Marchiori said that the passes were configured that way after a representative from what was then called the Yellowknife Seniors Association told the city that two-hour passes would be fine.

"The issue with parking metres in the downtown core is trying to make it so there's more flow-through traffic," Marchiori said.

"I'd like to point out that seniors do shop and go out to the same types of places as other folks, so I think we will have to revisit why we have these passes in the first place if we're not going to allow them everywhere, which I think is the convenient thing to do," Bell said.

"To have zones where they are and are not valid I think is confusing, so I'd just like to put that on the agenda for an upcoming (municipal services committee) meeting."

He began the discussion by asking if the city could look into their ongoing parking metre study, and see if there are other areas in the downtown core that could benefit from nine-hour meters, which city administrator Dennis Kefalas said administration would do.

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