December 2013 Update

Hi all Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
This update is for Dec. and Jan as my husband and are leaving soon for a six week trip to Africa. This will probably be our last on-our-own backpacking adventure together into the jungly part of Africa – hopefully seeing lots of gorillas, chimpanzees and other varieties of monkeys. Back in touch in Feb.

Included here:

  1. Our First Trail Section becomes Reality! – including pics below.
  2. Roadside Fencing for Turtles – Council decision this Tuesday, Dec 17.
  3. Integrated Waterfront Working Group – Our presence on committee
  4. Open Streets – Some Kingston Streets to be closed for pedestrians and cyclists etc. for a Sunday in June and in Sept.
  5. Queen’s Campus Master Plan – cycle links to communities
  6. Kingston Transportation Master Plan – a short survey for you to complete

1. Our First Trail Section becomes Reality!
A splendid day was had by all on Monday, November 18 when a goodly crowd of some 50 – 60 trail enthusiasts came to help out with the shrub planting. Many many thanks to all who participated including the amazing students from Pathways to Education , Leahurst College and H’Art Studios. WELL DONE!
Thanks also to Costco for donating a wonderful slab cake with the words “Happy Trails to You!” and to Don Campbell for helping with the organization and for providing a CD with the original Gene Autry version as well as “Rolling down the River”. Thanks to Dugald Carmichael and Herb and Audrey Helmstaedt for opening the Cataraqui Canoe Club to have a sheltered place for the coffee and for manning station and thanks to Joe Quattrocchi for coming to celebrate his dad’s dream coming true and for providing delicious apples for the hungry crew. Finally, thanks to Mark Gerretsen for being part of the official opening – complete with gold shovel and to Councilors Rob Hutchison and Bill Glover who have been trail supporters from the outset. So very much appreciated!
See pics below!

2. Roadside Fencing for Turtles
Thanks to Celeste Booth from the west end for this info.
Because turtles are making a significant come-back in the Inner Harbour, we are interested in protecting those that cross Doug Fluhrer Park to lay eggs near the National Grocer Building. This Tuesday, Dec. 17, City Council will be deciding whether to fund protective roadside fencing in two west end locations where current mortality rates are highest due to traffic. All 6 local species are “species at risk”.
Celeste is urging interested individuals to contact their councilors to demonstrate their concern before Dec. 17.

Whig article link:
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/11/13/sticking-up-for-turtles

Celeste’s observations:

1. TURTLES ARE IN JEOPARDY
7 of the 8 species in Ontario are ‘Species at Risk’.
Roads have a major impact on turtle decline as breeding females are killed while crossing roads.
2. THE CITY HAS A WELL-DESIGNED PLAN
The City consultant’s report includes well thought out design elements for the proposed turtle barriers including eco-passages to ensure habitat connectivity, and extending the fencing below the surface to prevent turtles from digging beneath the barrier.
3. EVIDENCE THAT TURTLE FENCING WORKS
The consultant’s report provides evidence that the proposed turtle barrier fencing is effective. As described on page 16, MTO and Toronto Zoo partnered to install a similar fence in Brant County.”The area was monitored for a year and no additional turtle fatalities were noted in this stretch…Monitoring conducted by the Toronto Zoo confirmed, using radio-tagged turtles, that turtles were regularly using the culvert as an eco-passage to move between the wetland habitats (Ontario Nature, 2012).”
4. LOW COST
This project would be a one-time cost of just over 3$ per individual household in Kingston and would protect turtles for at least 10 years. The maintenance cost is negligible. It certainly seems the least we could do to help a species that is at risk due to our urban lifestyle.


3) Integrated Waterfront Working Group
The City of Kingston is now organizing a Working Group to try and come up with an integrated plan for its over 200 kms of shoreline. Thanks are due to David McDonald and all Shoreline Shuffle participants for helping this become a City priority.
When ratified at this Tuesday’s council meeting the Working Group’s community representatives will include:

  • Laurel Claus-Johnson
  • Mary Farrar
  • Tonny Johansen
  • Jamie Lemery
  • David McDonald
  • Isabel Turner

Technical Representatives include:

Dr. David Gordon
Queen’s University School of Urban and Regional Planning
Jennifer Hroch
Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health
Rob McRae
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Viviane Paquin
Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum

These committee members will be working together with City Staff.

4) Open Streets
KFL&A Public Health, the City of Kingston and 8-80 Cities are enthusiastically embracing the notion of streets closed to cars for a great recreational opportunity for pedestrians, cyclists, wheel chairs etc. for one Sunday in June and one in September – potentially June 8 and Sept 7. We are delighted to be participating in the planning for this event that will go along King St. from the west end and proceed up Princess St. to the Memorial Centre with a possible loop up Sydenham St. to McBurney Park. In subsequent years, we hope to see the event include more streets in the Inner Harbour area.
Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities.

5) Queen’s Campus Master Plan
Thanks to the Williamsville Community Association for this info. Over the long term, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour are interested in cycle links from the downtown to our Inner Harbour Heritage Trail so Queen’s cycling infrastructure is relevant to our concerns. http://www.queensu.ca/cmp/events/campusandcommunityopenhouse-december

6) Kingston Transportation Master Plan
Thanks to Cindie Ashton of the City’s Communications Department for the following news release:

KINGSTON, ONT./ Nov. 25, 2013 – Attention pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists: work on updating the Kingston Transportation Master Plan (KTMP) is now underway and the City would like your comments on all modes of transportation.

Help us plan for a system that meets the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit and motor vehicles. Residents can make their transportation choices count by participating in a transportation survey at . This survey will remain live until early spring of 2014.

“A phone survey of 400 residents has already been completed, but we decided to extend the deadline for the online survey to gather as much public input as possible. The Kingston Transportation Master Plan is important since it will guide future City decisions for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, transit service and roadways,” says Deanna Green, Manager, Traffic Division. Just shy of 300 online responses have been received since the survey started on October 28.

Initially finalized in 2004, the KTMP guides the City’s transportation-related efforts, including the building of infrastructure to accommodate walking, cycling, public transit, driving and air travel. The KTMP was most recently updated in 2009 and has been augmented by other guiding City documents, including:

  • Cycling and Pathways Study
  • Kingston Airport Study
  • Kingston Transit Redevelopment Plan

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND FUN CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY AND NEW YEAR.
CHEERS,
MARY