Challenge Guelph Traffic By-Law Number (2002)-17017, 32: Playing sports on the street

Challenge Guelph Traffic By-Law Number (2002)-17017, 32: Playing sports on the street

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Sarah Hynes started this petition to Dan Gibson (Municipal Councillor, City of Guelph) and

WHAT WE WANT:

Our children deserve the freedom to play.

 

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Just like many of us have done in our childhood, our two kids (age 8 and 6) were playing basketball outside of our house, shooting towards our driveway, supervised by parents. The kids would clear the street well in advance of a vehicle approaching, and at no point were the kids or the net impeding traffic in any way. 

 

BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM:

That evening, a by-law officer came to our home to notify us that they received a complaint about our children playing basketball outside on the street.

No one approached us while we were playing outside. 

No one had to stop their car and wait for the kids to move out of their way.

But...

Someone felt that it was appropriate to mobilize by-law officers against our children for safely and harmlessly playing on our neighbourhood street. 

Our kids respect and appreciate our enforcement services. But this time they were scared. Why did someone tattle on them for playing outside? What else could they get in trouble for?

 

WE WERE UNAWARE, BUT THE BY-LAW IS CLEAR:

32. No person shall play or take part in any game, sport, activity or the like upon any Highway, without authority to do so from the city. 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL BY-LAW FROM CITY OF GUELPH

This by-law explicitly PROHIBITS anybody from playing of sports on our residential streets. 

 

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG...

A residential neighbourhood is built to foster a sense of community where its residents can interact with and support each other.

Children who play outside should not be restricted by law from a public section or area of their neighbourhood; this should be at the discretion of their parents, and based on unique factors such as age, supervision, etc.

Most of all, they should not be afraid. 

Some of our fondest memories are made during these times; why are we restricting children from playing? 

 

WE NEED CHANGE:

While it can be argued that this by-law was originally created in the best interest of the safety for all involved, its wording is excessively restrictive of a harmless and innocent activity.

People are using this by-law unfairly

People are tattling on children for harmless play.

The vague wording enables people to report children for harmless play. 

 

WE DON'T WANT OUR CHILDREN TO BE AFRAID TO PLAY!

So, for this reason, we are requesting an amendment to the wording of this by-law: To reinforce the safety and respect for traffic without prohibiting the activity altogether.  

 

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