September 2013 Update

Inner Harbour Heritage Trail: Stage One!
Construction will begin this fall – October/November at the small section at the Sewage Pumping Plant just north of the Rowing Club.
We will be looking for interested volunteers who might like to help out with a Community Planting component. Details in the next news update. Stay tuned.

Upcoming September Events:

Dragon Boat Festival – Sept 21:
8:00 am to 4:00 pm All welcome. An all day event in Kingston’s Inner Harbour,
If you wish to register a boat: $700 per team includes 2 one-hour practice sessions. Food and beverage vendors on-site.
For more info and to register visit the webpge at www.kingstondbfestival.com

Climb for the Cure – Sept 21:
8:00 am – 4:00 pm All welcome.
The Boiler Room’s 3rd Climb for the Cure event! It’s an entertaining day, full of community spirit, inspiration, and thrills…not to mention food, music, massages, slack lining and much more! See the link below for more info, or send them a message if you have questions. If you want to do the climb sign-up soon as spots go fast. If you’re not doing the climb, you are encouraged to come out anyway, even just to visit for a few minutes 🙂
http://www.climbinggym.ca/index.cfm/climb-for-the-cure/

Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up – Sept 27:
This year once again David Austin from OHIP is organizing the shoreline clean-up of Doug Fluhrer Park at 12 pm on Saturday, Sept. 27.
To sign up go to www.shorelinecleanup.ca and type in your postal code to bring up the site for registration. See you there.

Issues:
Wellington St. Extension
An excellent article in the Whig Standard by Michael Cole-Hamilton with REASONS AGAINST THE WELLINGTON ST. EXTENSION
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/08/21/the-case-against-the-wellington-st-extension
A comment followed that we have not included because we felt it was not very well informed in terms of the complexity of the issues.
I have submitted a letter to the editor of the Whig as follows:

“Clearly the arguments both for and against the Wellington St. Extension need to be addressed in some sort of public forum. Mike Cole-Hamilton’s forward-looking Aug 22 piece raised important reasons why it is not a good idea. George Dillon’s more traditional view was expressed in his Aug 28 piece. A lot was left unsaid. In truth, the issue is simply too complicated to fully address in half-page opinion pieces. The City is divided. Local residents are divided. Further complicating the issue is the City’s current move from a car culture to a more sustainable mix of transportation modes, encouraging walking, cycling and transit as well as cars. A transit pass now costs less than a downtown parking permit. Changes in modes of transportation and changes in life-style require thought and discussion with plenty of opportunity for widespread public input.”

Williamsville Bike Lane Issue:
At last month’s Council meeting, a motion passed to do a new streetscape on North Princess St. that included bike lanes. Because there are a lot of parking spaces available on nearby side streets, it was felt that the number of parking spaces on Princess St. could be reduced. Now local businesses are objecting. There is a petition against removing the Princess St. parking spaces. We shouldn’t let fear dominate our decision making. Understanding the issue is critical.

According to the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportaion. and the KFLA Public Health Unit, the Whig Standard article about the issue contained two factual errors that have led to misunderstanding of the cycling lanes plan. Members of KCAT and the Health Unit have counted the spots repeatedly and are confident about the accuracy of the following information: There are 9 on-street parking spots between Bath Rd and Macdonell. The newspaper reported 65. There are 5 spots in front of the Star Diner, not 8 as reported by the Whig. The other 4 on-street parking spots on Princess are in front of Giant Tiger which already has 29 free spots behind the store. There are approximately 600 off-street parking spots near Princess between Bath and Macdonell. There are 106 city-owned spot in the Gorsline Parking lot (under the water tower), 10 on Drayton Av and 13 on Regent St. All of these spots are 25 to 250 steps away from the businesses in that area.

Anne McPhail of the KFLA Health Unit has also graciously sent us a review of research that shows unequivocally that bike lanes are good for business – despite business’s fears. (See attachment). Do visit the www.kcat.ca webpage as they are planning on uploading further useful information this Tuesday, Sept 3.
Let’s not forget Kingston’s own history on this matter. In the nineties, when the cycle lanes on Union St. were being discussed, it was feared that Bearance’s Grocery would have to close. Not so! It has done just fine with bike lanes. We need a win-win situation. Visit www.kcat.ca to find the new pro-cycle lane petition. This is extremely important for the future of cycling infrastructure in Kingston. Bike lanes in this section of Princess St will be a critical first step towards creating viable, safe cycling routes from the west end to the downtown. Just like our Inner Harbour Heritage Trail, the way to create an integrated trail is through joining separate bits. The argument raised by some that the Williamsville bike lanes will be “orphaned” -leading from nowhere to nowhere simply does not make sense. You have to start somewhere!
WARNING: AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED THE PETITION, YOU WILL BE FACED WITH A DONATION PAGE. JUST EXIT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY!!
p.s. For further information, visit www.williamsville.ca. There will be a public meeting Sept. 25.

Remembering the Summer:
Thanks are due to Mayor Mark Gerretsen for leading the way in our contribution to Kingston’s Commuter Challenge on June 7 riding from Belle Park to Market Square for a “Roll-In Breakfast” organized by Cycle Kingston. Even though it was a drizzly day we had over 30 dedicated cyclists. Kudos all round! For pics, see the Gallery on our www.friendsofinnerharbour.com webpage.
The Shoreline Shuffle was a truly great waterfront event on June 23, drawing attention to Kingston’s need for an Integrated Waterfront Plan. 15 word sculptures, placed strategically along the waterfront, drew attention to the good and the ugly along our waterfront. A great collection of large puppets were carried in procession along the 8 km walk ending with a celebratory opening of Lake Ontario Park. Thanks so much to David McDonald, Lea Westlake and Su Sheedy for inviting us to participate in the organization of this event. Do visit the Water Access Group’s webpage at www.wateraccessgroup.weebly.com for videos and pics.

This year we also joined with Laura Murray and Jamie Swift for an Inner Harbour History Walking Tour on June 22 that was a fascinating introduction to stories about the working class families and businesses of Skeleton Park and the Inner Harbour. Thanks so much Laura and Jamie for organizing this really fun and informative event.
This August 6, we were really happy to welcome the Rideau Canal Voyageur Canoe Brigade who set off from Doug Fluhrer Park at the paddling trail head to Confederation Basin for an official welcome from the City. Thanks so much to Dugald Carmichael of the Cataraqui Canoe Club for spearheading this event. The 70 paddlers from all over the country looked great in their traditional garb. Councilor Rob Hutchison welcomed the group to the park and Councilor Dorothy Hector gave an official City welcome complete with presentation of pins of the City. Members of Kingston’s Community Choir, Open Voices, sang a traditional voyageur song to send them off. Well done everyone.

A great season for recognizing our Frontenac Arch Biosphere Paddling Trail Head installed last fall in Doug Fluhrer Park to have the Canoe Brigade there! For information about their upcoming fall tours find the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network online.
Family Wednesdays in July: Thanks so very much to the Barefoot Players, Anne Robertson from the Kingston Field Naturalists, Jane Thelwell of Anglin Bay Pottery, our volunteers who helped organize these events and our business sponsors from the community: Quattrocchi’s, the Sleepless Goat, the Bread and Butter Bakery and Urban Paws.
We truly appreciate your support.

Issues we continue to follow:
North Block,
Tannery property,
Cycling infrastructure,
Doug Fluhrer Park Visioning Exercise,
Belle Park,
Inner Harbour Audio-Tour and Map/Brochure Initiative,
9 North St.,
Davis Dry Dock,
Integrated Waterfront Plan
Wellington St. Extension
City website and inclusion of neighbourhood associations and cycle routes.
Gateways to the City
Summer event possibilities

Thanks so much to all of you for your continued support. Truly appreciated!
Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour