February Update 2015

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
In keeping with our mandate of stewardship of the Inner Harbour we have been working with wellingtonx to educate community members about the importance of waterfront green space.  If the proposed Wellington St. Extension is constructed as planned we will lose a large portion of treasured waterfront green space forever.  The 30 metre road allowance in the Environmental Assessment specific to the Douglas R. Fluhrer Park section cannot be changed according to City Engineers. This road would drastically reduce usable green space and access to the park, is contrary to the City’s Official Plan, Sustainability principles,the Provincial Policy Statement and is bad for the environment.

YOU REALLY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE 

1) TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 7:30pm, COUNCIL MEETING, COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL, 217 ONTARIO ST.
Councillors Rob Hutchison and Jeff McLaren will put forward a motion to eliminate the Wellington St Extension (from the Rideau, Montreal, Railway intersection south to Bay St.) from the City’s Official Plan.
FKIH and Wellingtonx are both doing 5 minute delegations at the beginning of the meeting.
PLEASE, PLEASE COME IF YOU CAN – FOR JUST 10 MINUTES!!
IT IS ABSOLUTELY URGENT THAT WE HAVE A ROOM FULL OF VISIBLE SUPPORTERS!

2) LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN – NEEDED BEFORE MARCH 2.
WE MUST CONVINCE COUNCIL AND STAFF TO GET RID OF THE EXTENSION – OUT OF THE TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN AND OUT OF THE OFFICIAL PLAN! Otherwise this indecision could last another 40 years resulting in further economic stagnation.  Because the return on investment of 35 million is unknown and amounts to a very expensive gamble, it is wiser, and more prudent economically, to fix the existing roads and make use of the old grid system that is blocked.  Waterfront parkways worldwide are currently being ripped up at huge taxpayer expense – to be replaced with trails
Kingston should not make the same parkway mistake!

WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER, OR COPY AND PASTE using
ONE OF THE SHORT PARAGRAPHS BELOW.

Please include your name and address at the end of your e-mail. Addresses in easy copy and paste format included below.  Copying FKIH at inverarymary@yahoo.com would also be appreciated.

Fiscal Responsibility Focus:
As a Kingston tax payer, I believe in the importance of using tax dollars wisely.  The $35 million (conservative estimate) required to build what appears to be a unnecessary road is not worth that amount of money.  We need to look after our existing roads better, not build new ones.

Environmental Focus:
Environmental issues are my major concern for opposing the Wellington Street Extension.  The Inner Harbour area is a prime Kingston location for watching migratory birds.  In addition, endangered species of turtles such as the Northern Map are making a comeback here – even crossing the road to lay eggs along the retaining wall in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park.  Air pollution is also a concern.  More cars and diesel-fueled trucks in the downtown are not good for species-at-risk or for Kingston citizens as a whole. Kingston wants to become Canada’s most sustainable city.  Let’s save our wildlife and help keep our air clean by encouraging Park and Rides, improving the off-road trail system and using more transit.  Let’s say no to the Wellington Street Extension.

Cycling Focus:
Exploring Kingston and area on my bike and cycle commuting to various destinations are activities I am actively engaged in.  The Doug Fluhrer, K&P, Belle Park route is currently a great safe, mostly off-road cycling route.  It would be a shame for one of the most interesting off-road cycling adventures in Kingston to become merely a bike lane on a busy road.  Say no to the Wellington Street Extension.

Running Focus:
Running is one of my passions.  Kingston has several 5k, 10k and longer runs organized each year.  Creating a new safe, mostly off-road route for runners along the waterfront, along the old K&P line and around Belle Park would be a great addition for all Kingston runners.  Please consider not doing the Wellington Street Extension but creating instead a trail for runners

Disability Focus:
I am speaking on behalf of all disabled people, those in wheelchairs, those using walkers, seniors who walk slowly for one reason or another as well as parents who walk slowly with infants and toddlers.  All of these groups need easy access to Douglas R. Fluhrer Park. Currently wheelchairs can negotiate the pathway through the low rental housing at the north end of the park.  Crossing into the park through the low-rental housing and down North Street are reasonable access routes.  However, if a major road is put through, crossing will become hazardous for these groups.  Please keep easy access to the park.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension

Canoe, Kayak and Stand-up Paddle Focus:
As a small craft user, I wish to express my desire that Douglas R. Fluhrer Park and all of the Inner Harbour area remain the great accessible location it is for canoers, kayakers and stand-up paddlers. Currently people with small boats use the park regularly for access to quiet still waters that are great for paddling.  If a major road is put through the park, access to the water for entry into the water will become more difficult.  This is a great waterfront asset for all Kingstonians.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

Peace and Contemplation Focus:
Douglas R. Fluhrer Park is simply a wonderful place to go for a quiet afternoon of peace and reflection.  Wildlife abound.  Sitting, watching the ducks and migratory birds, snakes and turtles is wonderful for peace of mind.  It is an opportunity to sit and reflect on the wonders of the universe.  All of this will be destroyed with construction of a major through-route for cars and large trucks.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

Family Focus:
The Inner Harbour and Douglas R. Fluhrer Park in particular are Kingston treasures.  Every Friday there is a TGIF event that is done in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club where families from all over Kingston come together to celebrate the end of the week and where kids can engage in the fun activities provided by the Boys and Girls Club.  After the Boys and Girls Club events, normally a performance or craft activity follows e.g. Queen’s Barefoot Players, Kingston Field Naturalists, Library stories etc.  And then there are family picnics.  If a road is put through the park, the peace and quiet for quality family time as well as easy access to the park will be diminished.  Family Fridays will simply not be as great as they are now.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

Arts Focus:
Last summer for the first time, ON THE WALL, Kingston’s first ever juried street art festival, took place in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park.  It was a huge success.  Artists and residents came from all over the City to participate and to view the amazing art on display.  At the end of the week, on the Saturday, a Celebration of the Artists and the Arts was held where pop-up participatory arts activities were enjoyed by over 1000 visitors.  Access to the wall by Kingston street artists should be possible – ultimately as a legal wall.  Having a road pushed through the park would limit access to the wall.  This is wrong.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

Dog Walking Focus:
As a proud Kingston pet owner, I want to say how much I enjoy walking my dog in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park and Belle Park – two of the great dog walking locations in Kingston.  If a major road is put through Doug Fluhrer Park, it will decrease its use substantially by a number of Kingston dog walkers.  This park is currently a quiet peaceful place for me and my dog.  Having big trucks going through would completely change the atmosphere.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

Political/Sustainability Focus:
The Wellington St. Extension is contrary to Kington`s Official Plan, Kingston`s Transportation Master Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement that all value sustainability, reducing cars in the downtown and promoting alternative modes of transportation including walking, cycling and transit.  Kingston`s desire to be Canada`s most sustainable city is laudable.  We need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Economic Development Focus:
Indecision concerning development of the Wellington St Extension has existed for the last 40 years and has resulted in a degree of economic stagnation in the Montreal-Rideau corridors.  Entrepreneurs are unlikely to establish new businesses in light of such uncertainty.  The 35 million (conservative estimate) planned for the extension has no guarantee of resulting in a return on that investment.  Instead, it would be better to use some of that money to fix up both Montreal and Rideau Streets as attractive gateways to the city in their own right – as attractive business locations and as attractive locations for new housing – supported by increased alternative transportation options.  The new economy!

Traffic Congestion Focus:
The Wellington St. Extension will cause further congestion in the downtown when traffic coming across the Causeway merges with that coming down the Extension.  Further, the Environmental Assessment states that, following construction of the Wellington St Extension, further studies will be required to deal with projected increases in population and traffic in the downtown.  These increases may cause drivers to cut through Sydenham District roads and increase traffic on King and Ontario Streets  Please say no to more cars and more congestion in the downtown.

Downtown Business Focus:
More cars in the downtown does not translate into more and better business if the cars are simply trying to get through a congested downtown to get from home to workplace. Far better for the city to increase Park and Rides and express buses and invest in a shared car app to bring more pedestrians to the downtown rather than more cars.  Let’s follow the example of so many cities worldwide by creating car free zones in the downtown that help business thrive.  Please say no to the Wellington St. Extension.

ADDRESSES OF COUNCILLORS AND STAFF TO COPY AND PASTE ALL AT ONCE:
rallen@cityofkingston.ca, rnboehme@cityofkingston.ca, acandon@cityofkingston.ca,
kgeorge@cityofkingston.ca, mrholland@cityofkingston.ca, rhutchison@cityofkingston.ca, jmclaren@cityofkingston.ca, jneill@cityofkingston.ca, osanic@cityofkingston.ca, lschell@cityofkingston.ca, pstroud@cityofkingston.ca, lturner@cityofkingston.ca
ghunt@cityofkingston.ca, lhurdle@cityofkingston.ca, cbeach@cityofkingston.ca, mvanburen@cityofkingston.ca, bpaterson@cityofkingston.ca

Not sure who your councillor is?
www.cityofkingston.ca/web/guest/search?q=find+your+councillor&x=8&y=1

Thank you so very much for your help.
Mary Farrar,
President,
Friends of Kingston Inner  Harbour