Sidewalks & Street Lighting
Sidewalk surface discontinuities are addressed and administered under Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways.
The regulations dictate that discontinuity on or within a sidewalk is deemed to be in a state of repair if it is less than or equal to two centimetres (a little bit more than 3/4").
Every year, as part of our general capital construction program, sidewalks are removed, replaced or repaired. When this program is tendered and awarded to a contractor, the report to Council will be posted on our Lets Talk Fort Erie page (letstalk.forterie.ca) indicating what works are planned.
What do I do to request a new sidewalk or advise the Town a sidewalk (or section) is broken?
If you are requesting the installation of a new sidewalk or if you are of the belief that any discontinuity (gap, crack, lip or similar) in the existing sidewalk is greater than 2 centimetres (3/4") please contact the Engineering Division at (905) 871-1600 to arrange an on-site inspection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These frequently asked questions are provided to inform residents about street light outages that occur in and around the Town. Street lights often fail due to the the age of the mechanical elements and normal wear and tear.
What is the purpose of street lights?
Poor visibility is a major cause of accidents at night. Street lights assist drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists find their way in the dark by illuminating areas adjoining the roadway to alert drivers of possible hazards from the sides and illuminating walkways for pedestrians. Although street lights do provide some amount of security in residential areas, this is not their primary purpose and they are not installed for security reasons alone.
LED Streetlight Program
In recent years the Town of Fort Erie has replaced the old street lights with substantially more energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights.
Why did we switch to LEDs?
Towns and Cities around the world are switching to LED lights as a way to save both money and energy while simultaneously increasing safety and visibility. The LED lights consume a lot less energy when compared to their HPS predecessors. They also provide better service reliability and lower maintenance costs, as the new LEDs have a lifespan of about 4 times that of an HPS lamp. This translates to ongoing savings in maintenance costs. Less maintenance also means fewer service vehicle trips for repairs and thus reduced carbon emissions.
The LED fixtures that we have installed have been designed to provide an improved distribution of light. The LEDs shed light along the roadway, increasing visibility in dark spots between street light poles, rather than solely dumping light directly below street light fixtures as the HPS luminaires did. The LEDs are also designed to reduce the amount of back-lighting that spills behind the street light pole and onto adjacent properties.
Are they brighter?
No, they are not any brighter. HPS bulbs produce a light that looks almost pink or orange. LED lights, however, produce a white light that may be perceived as cooler and brighter to the eye. This allows colours to appear more natural at night, improving colour rendering.
How do I request a new streetlight?
Please refer to the Town’s Street Lighting Policy for more information as to when and how requests are granted.
OUTSIDE the Urban Boundary:
2.2.1 Street lighting in areas outside the Urban Area boundaries as defined in the Town’s Official Plan will generally be limited to intersections only.
2.2.2 Street lighting must be located within a public traveled road allowance.
WITHIN the Urban Boundary:
3.4 System additions, extensions and upgrades on existing streets to meet the “every second pole criteria” shall be financed in the following manner:
Requisitioning Property Owner(s) 75%
3.5 Requested system improvements, extensions or additions on existing streets that will exceed Section 3.4 minimum streetlight spacing requirements shall be funded entirely (100%) by the Requisitioning Property Owner(s).
3.6 Payment for requested and approved installation(s) must be received by the Town prior to commencement of the installation(s).
3.7 Should the Traffic Coordinating Committee identify a safety concern that may be addressed by the installation of a streetlight(s), the Committee may waive or alter the above-noted funding mechanism, on a case-by-case basis.
How to tell if a light isn’t working
- Light is out. The lamp, photo control or the fixture itself has failed.
- Light goes on and off. This cycling means it’s at the end of its life.
- Light stays on during the day. The photo control has failed in the on position.
How can I report a street light outage?
Reporting has never been easier! If you know the location of the light outage, we just need your help in identifying the “Light ID” number. This can be done using our handy Street Light Map Database tool (Step 1). Simply scroll the map to find its location, click on the ‘coloured button’ and make a note of the “Light ID”. Then simply let us know by putting the information into our Street Lighting Outage Report (Step 2).
If you’re having any difficulty completing this, please call the Town Hall at 905-871-1600 where one of our representatives would be pleased to help you.
Who is responsible for Street Lights not maintained by the Town of Fort Erie?
The Town generally maintains all lights within our boundaries. Poles that have traffic signal apparatus (for example, traffic lights and crosswalk signals) would need to be reported to the Niagara Region and private lights (also known as ‘sentinel lights’ or ‘yard lights’) are normally maintained by Canadian Niagara Power (CNP).
How long does it take for a street light outage to be repaired?
During winter months, street light outage reporting numbers increase due to the longer periods without sunlight. The Towns designated contractor will make every effort to attend to a reported streetlight as soon as possible. Typically, they attempt to visit and service street lights within 21 days of reporting however this timeline does not consider other factors such as the availability of parts as well as other challenges, like weather conditions.
The LED lighting industry is ever improving and, as such, sometimes manufacturers discontinue making some of our luminaires (lights) in favour of improved options. When this happens, the Town must then source alternatives that must be both available (in stock) and compatible with the specifications of the existing fixture. The Town makes every available effort to keep an adequate supply of fixtures in stock, but there are some circumstances beyond our control.
Do you have a general inquiry regarding Fort Erie’s street lights?
Enquiries, or to follow up on submissions you have already made, can directed to the Administrative Assistant for Engineering; 905-871-1600 extension 2404