I worked on four policies – Roadway Signage & Inspection Policy, Dust Control Policy, Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy, and Directional Signage Policy- at the same time this week. The reason being they all overlap in a way as these policies are implemented by Public Works. I held consultations with Ray, the supervisor in charge of administering these policies, to get an understanding of how these policies were implemented by his department. Meeting with him at the Mirror Lake Center (MLC), I gathered that all the policies, with the exception of the Directional Signage Policy, seem to be working well for Public Works. Areas that might need improvement for these policies include the following:
• Creating a Curb & Sidewalk Database for Public Works to notify them when maintenance and inspections are due on existing and new sidewalk developments.
• Review the ‘language of instruction’ in the Dust Control Policy to reflect contemporary needs, and also include the use of calcium chloride as the substance of choice in dust control by the municipality
• Continually contrast the various policy with other municipal policies to identify maintenance areas that can be improved
• Find creative ways to expand the current Curb & Sidewalk Inspection and Maintenance Policy to include winter months, if possible, as there are several complaints and calls made to the City for maintenance work in the winter.
• Increase the budget if extra work needs to be done.
I conducted some research with an Engineering Coop student on the Directional Signage Policy. Our research showed that the City does not have a policy for Directional Signage, even though the Land Use Bylaw and the City Development Standards does include and explains how various signages should be set up on City lands. To add to this, I found out that Directional Signage is under the administration of Municipal Planning and not Public Works or Municipal Engineering. I intend to meet up with Municipal Engineering and Municipal Planning next week to clarify the expectations of this project.
• Try not to ask for a budget before developing a policy. It should be the other way around.
• Meet with department heads to always clarify project expectations, as well as consult with relevant stakeholders who are directly engaged in working on projects that are guided by policies you may possibly be developing. Meeting with all stakeholders helps define and shapes your policy development. Also, such meetings could reduce potential tensions that could impact the policy.