Street hockey: Gatineau plans street games bylaw
While Commission Gatineau, Ville en santé is examining the street games situation on Gatineau’s arteries, the city won’t change the bylaw which would have permitted street sports, starting this fall. Theoretically, children are not allowed to play on the streets this winter.
The bylaw change has been postponed until next summer, says the Commission’s Chair, Renée Amyot. She argues that Gatineau police are already quite tolerant with street games.
The Commission has evaluated the scenarios proposed, but not made an official decision. The city hopes to use street play to promote an active lifestyle for kids.
Between January 15 and February 2, 2018, an online questionnaire gathered residents’ opinion on street games on some residential streets. 1,761 people responded, and 58% of respondents had no idea that street games were prohibited. The majority of respondents agreed that street games be permitted.
Some street sections are better suited than others. Adequate lighting is needed, sharp curves are to be avoided, and neighbourhoods already with 40 km/hr limits are best. Dead-end streets are also well suited. City administrators say there are alternatives to playing on the streets -- in municipal parks, for example, where there is no traffic.
Most cities in Quebec prohibit playing on the streets, although this is not enforced everywhere. The provincial Code de la sécurité routière prohibits hindering traffic flow on roadways.
In June 2017, Quebec adopted Bill 122, enabling municipalities to approve street games or not. Article 78 of the Bill allows municipalities to permit street games on any roadway under its management. In January 2019, the Commission Gatineau, Ville en santé plans to make its recommendation to city council. The City will then modify its 300-2016 by-law to authorize street games on selected streets. Spring 2019 should see street games legal on some of Gatineau’s streets. (Transl: CB)