Today, Council discussed further actions in response to COVID-19 including, proceeding with essential roads and stormwater projects, installing temporary bike lanes and protective barriers on MiWay buses and suspending the noise by-law temporarily for call to prayer.
“Mississauga continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and a changing environment. City workers continue to deliver essential services to residents, despite this pandemic. While there are physical distancing measures in place, work on roads and stormwater projects will continue to ensure Mississauga is safe and accessible. As well, new, temporary bike lanes are being opened to allow people to stay physically active. This is critical work that keeps our City running and our residents healthy. While people are home, now is a good time to do this work and minimize disruption,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Federal and provincial case projections are promising, but we need to remain vigilant and stay home. We have begun planning for recovery, including new measures to keep transit drivers and riders safe, but we will only get there if everyone remains strong and does their part.”
Roads and Stormwater Capital Programs
Council voted to proceed with construction projects in the Roads and Stormwater Capital Programs report as they are an essential service under Ontario Regulation 82/20 – Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses.
The projects noted in the report have approved capital budgets and involve repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges and stormwater management ponds.
Under the Regulation, contractors are to comply with all applicable health and safety laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the advice and instructions of public health officials, including physical distancing. Notices will be distributed in the communities impacted by construction with contact information and to advise residents and property owners of the COVID-19 precautions that contractors are required to comply with.
With pot hole filling, sidewalk and curb repair and spring clean-up efforts already underway, the City is now moving forward with its busy road construction season.
MiWay will be adding temporary biohazard barriers on buses to provide additional protection for operators in advance of a return to front door customer boarding. The barriers are expected to be installed by end of June. MiWay transit operators, maintenance and administration staff are receiving reusable face coverings and disposable gloves to use where physical distancing is not feasible. The use of face coverings and gloves is a personal choice by the employee.
The barriers and face coverings are in addition to the following protection measures which have been in place since March on all MiWay buses:
- rear-door boarding only, unless use of the ramp is required
- restricted access to the front of the bus
- no fare payment
- select seats on MiWay buses taped off to encourage physical distancing
MiWay patrons are being asked to continue to practice physical distancing at bus stops and on the bus. For more information visit MiWay.
The City is installing temporary lanes for cycling in response to COVID-19 to promote physical activity in a way that allows for physical distancing.
King Street was the first location that the City installed temporary bike lanes. City staff continue to investigate other locations with the safety of residents as the top priority.
General criteria for temporary walking and cycling lanes includes:
- Areas with higher density
- Road corridors parallel to trails
- Areas that have lower access to or nearby available parkland or open spaces
These temporary lanes are not recreational amenities and are intended for use by local residents to address needs based on the criteria outlined above. Enforcement of Emergency Orders is in effect for the lanes.
Wireless Mississauga Available to those in need
Wireless Mississauga is a city-wide network of free wireless hotspots available for public use. These locations are helping provide internet service to those in need, who may not have easy access, while allowing for physical distancing.
To view a map of free wireless hotspot locations, visit http://ow.ly/4TtF30qBJ3W.
The City is enforcing four Emergency Orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This includes enforcement around gatherings larger than five people and closures of recreational facilities in City parks including playgrounds, benches, parking lots, sport courts and picnic areas. Emergency Orders and physical distancing guidelines – staying a safe distance of two metres away from other people – apply and must be followed at all Wireless Mississauga hotspots.
Noise Control By-law Suspended – Evening Call to Prayer
Council passed a resolution that the enforcement of the Noise Control By-law be suspended to allow for the broadcasting of the evening call to prayer from local mosques and other non-residential buildings regularly used for worship. This resolution is for the period of Ramadan, up to May 24, 2020, provided the ‘call’ is broadcast only once per day in the evening for a maximum of five minutes and that it is not a call for people to physically gather in contravention of Emergency Orders and physical distancing guidelines.