A good foundation

I bet you didn’t expect to see that headline, did you, given that Paterson will be in the mayor’s chair.

But look! the balance of power in this thirteen-vote configuration is in the direction of reason. We elected EIGHT councillors who have said they’re against the extension: Allen, Holland, Hutchison, McLaren, Neill, Osanic, Schell, Stroud. This is a HUGE improvement over the last council. We can work with this.

And we will: look for a meeting within the month to consider next steps.

We’ve already raised awareness, gathered information, and started to share it: we are in a much stronger position on this issue than we were a month ago. Thanks to all of those who have participated in Wellington X discussions in so many ways. This blog will be a little more, shall we say, relaxed for a while, but it will gear up as needed… so stay tuned!

— Laura Murray

Who is Where on the WSE? Part Two: Mayoral Candidates

Well, here we are at the end of the campaign, and the people running for mayor have not changed their positions on the WSE:

In favour: PATERSON

Undecided: HECTOR

Against: DOWNES, SLOMKA, FOSTER, OWEN-CLARK

We asked Hector whether, having hedged on the issue earlier in the campaign, she would take a firmer position now; she declined to answer.

The Wellington Street Extension may seem like a small thing: a short road through a small park and an isolated industrial area. However, candidates’ positions on it connect to their broader priorities and values. One candidate wants to spend millions of dollars and eat up waterfront without explaining why or exploring alternatives. Another wants to sit on the fence — which could be either political strategy, lack of clarity in values and priorities, or insufficient interest or time so far for research. The rest, it would appear, value fiscal constraint, greenspace, neighbourhood consultation, evidence-based decision-making, and/or city planning best practices.

While this blog will not endorse a particular candidate, we can say without hesitation that Bryan Paterson must be defeated.

  • He has reiterated his claim that the park will be lovely even after being told that the right of way consumes almost all of it.
  • He has reiterated his claim that the extension is necessary to “unlock the potential” of the inner harbour without considering alternatives.
  • He has reiterated his claim that development charges have already been collected to pay for the extension in the face of information that development charges are NOT earmarked for particular projects.
  • In other words, he does not listen to facts, but simply sticks to his script even when it is has no foundation.
  • As city councillor, Paterson has consistently voted on the side of developers, no matter what the project. For example, he voted in favour of continuing the RFP process with Jay Patry for development of the tannery lands, when Patry is facing charges about the Williamsville fire and when the proposal was highly problematic. We need development in the inner harbour, but we need smart and diverse development by developers with good track records.
  • As chair of the Planning Committee Paterson went out of his way to bypass rules in favour of developers, with what turned out in Williamsville to be disastrous results.
  • Paterson’s insistence that the sustainability pillars guide him is in direct contradiction with his voting record and positions on the issues.

Keep this all in mind as you vote!

— the WellingtonX team

Let’s Actually Be a Smart City

The proposal for the Wellington Street extension is predicated on a model which presumes that a vibrant downtown core requires more and larger road access to bring shoppers and tourists to downtown. Ironically, the building of a new road such as the Wellington Street Extension will take away from qualities that could be used to enhance Kingston’s tourist capacity: walkability, human scale, a historical vibe, and so on. And it is unlikely that suburban dwellers in Kingston are going to change their shopping patterns and suddenly start coming downtown, even if new roadways are built.

It is far more likely that the core of Kingston will be sustained and revitalized by an intelligent combination of encouraging urban density while maintaining the historic nature of the city.

This does run contrary to most planning (or lack of planning) since 1950 which has focused on urban expansion into suburban areas utilizing valuable agricultural lands so that everyone can have a fully detached home on their own plot of land. But advocates of the Smart City model, a hugely dynamic international planning philosophy, observe that going forward we will no longer be able to afford the cost of large spread-out cities, which are dependent on private ownership of fossil fuel driven vehicles. Over the last 15 to 20 years there has been a dramatic movement in cities around the world toward the concept of higher densification in urban cores.

Rather than focus on bringing vehicles in to the downtown core, Kingston should focus on bringing people into the downtown core to live. Having more people living downtown will enhance the economic viability of the downtown core to a far greater degree than new roadways. To some extent this is already happening, with new buildings on Block D, the Anna Lane condos, the Leuwarden building, and so on. More new apartments and condos are happening a little further up Princess Street, and imagined for the “North Block” as well. These developments are not without controversy from neighbours, and they must be designed sensitively. But when well done and combined with public greenspace, they can improve the quality of life for current residents hugely by increasing the demand for services, schools, and stores and thus bringing jobs and resources into the community.

The cost of the Wellington Street extension is estimated by the city as (at least) $35 million (quite separate from the cost of a third crossing). If we assume that if this amount comes from development charges it can only be used for infrastructure, which includes transportation, options emerge that can substantially enhance the capacity of the city to bring people into the downtown core without destroying valuable parkland and potential residential space. Frequent express buses from key points in suburban areas to the critical points in the downtown core such as the Princess Street corridor, the hospitals, the University and RMC could be accomplished by creating suburban parking and high end comfortable hybrid buses which may even have dedicated lanes to ensure their capacity to move people rapidly from the suburban areas to the downtown core. In 2012, the City of Ottawa budgeted hybrid buses at $600,000 apiece: we could buy 20 of them for less than $15 million. We would still have money left over for other parts of a green transit plan: bike lanes, a bike sharing system, bike lanes, appropriate parking facilities, better transit for the elderly and disabled, and so on.

Kingston apparently has the most PhDs per capita in Canada. Perhaps we should start to act smarter.

— Jim Docherty and Laura Murray

Wellington Street Past, Present… Future?

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Wellington Street looking north from Place d’Armes ca. 1950

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Wellington Street looking north from Place d’Armes 2014

This area was once bustling with warehouses, lumberyards, oil tanks, a brewery, trains, bars, car dealers, and so on. Former Councillor Ken Matthews remembers skating on what is now the parking lot of Food Basics, fetching chocolate bars and cigarettes at Mrs. Kelly’s for prisoners in the military drunk tank, and hearing hymns through the windows of  the Sailors’ Institute on the corner of King and Barrack. In the 30s, kids would gather coal at the roundhouse in what is now Fluhrer Park, and at the Steam Laundry (in this photo on the left with the false front), “we used to shimmy up the wall and take the women’s pop bottles [to sell the empties]… you had to have ten cents to go to the show.”

In the postindustrial era the area has seen various new uses: the government building on the right, the Legion turned Fitness Club/Street Health/H’art Studios, and residential development of the Bajus Brewery and the Anglin Bay area. What will happen to it next? It is poised to continue its development as a mixture of recreational, commercial, and residential, it seems to us. Let’s see it as a habitat, home, economic resource, and landscape, not just a distance to cover.

— Laura Murray

Zoning Trickery

Everyone is saying things like “the WSE has been on the books for 40-50 years.” True and false. But in my opinion mostly false.

Doug Fluhrer used the name Wellington Street Extension over 40 years ago to describe a small local access road to go between the Bay&Wellington and Rideau&River intersections. Its purpose was to service the newly re-zoned park and the newly re-zoned residential area (it was all industrial before that). The road proposed at that time was a small residential road that really led nowhere – just local access.

We are still using the same title “Wellington Street Extension.” However its concept is entirely different. It is now imagined as a high speed truck route and arterial parkway that funnels all the new traffic for the John Counter ring road and third crossing into the core.

We are mistakenly using the same title to describe apples and oranges.  What was proposed 40 years ago is entirely different than what is proposed today.

The proposal for 40 years ago was a rational aspect of the long term plan to convert this area from industrial to residential. What is proposed today directly opposes that move to residential re-zoning that took place 40 years ago.

It was Doug Fluhrer’s vision that encouraged the construction of Frontenac Village, Bajus, Rideaucrest, Leuwarden, the public housing on Rideau, development of the woollen mill, the townhouses on Rideau and Bay sts…all the residential development in the last 40 years. This concept that has been discussed during the last 10 years would make his skin crawl.

If the city puts a high speed arterial in the middle of this recently converted residential area, everyone who has invested their life savings in the development of this area over the last 40 years has been deceived by this city. To re-zone from industrial to residential, and then just as the residential community is becoming successful, to do a 180 degree turn and slam a high speed truck / commuter route is very poor planning (and in my opinion outright deceitful).

— A Resident of the Fluhrer Park area

Who is Where on the WSE? Part One: Council Candidates

People have been asking us for a complete list of council candidates’ positions on this issue. Here it is! We note that in most cases positions and engagement on the WSE line up with candidates’ views on sustainability, cycling, greenspace, public transit, etcetera — so this one “bellwether” issue has wider significance for the kind of City Council Kingston chooses. We are pleased that whereas at the beginning of the campaign only SIX candidates were declared against the WSE, now there are FOURTEEN!

Against the WSE:

Richard Allen (Countryside)

Maureen Good (Portsmouth)

Roger Healey (Lakeside)

Mary Rita Holland (Kingscourt-Rideau)

Rob Hutchison (King’s Town)

Joan Jardin (Lakeside)

Jeff McLaren (Meadowbrook-Strathcona)

Jim Neill (Williamsville)

Lisa Osanic (Collins-Bayridge)

Floyd Patterson (Trillium)

James Sayeau (Loyalist-Cataraqui)

Liz Schell (Portsmouth)

Peter Stroud (Sydenham)

Alexander Young (Portsmouth)

For: Ryan Boehme (Pittsburgh), Lindsey Foster (King’s Town), Adam Koven (Sydenham), Jordan West (King’s Town)

Undecided or Unclear: Sandy Berg (Meadowbrook-Strathcona), Ryan Low (King’s Town), Rob Matheson (Trillium), Leo Ragusa (Collins-Bayridge), Ed Smith (Williamsville)

Not Now: Kevin Dressler (Trillium)

No information or response to inquiries: Adam Candon, Bonnie Ferguson, Kevin George, Tom Gingrich, Kevin Holland, Joyce MacLeod Kane, Sean Murphy, Wayne Owens, Karen Pagratis, TK Pritchard, Jeff Scott, Carsten Sorensen, George Sutherland, Laura Turner, Tommy Vallier, Ruth Wannamacher

Further information on the Kings’ Town candidates can be found on our page Council Candidate Positions.

Additional Comments Communicated to Wellington X

Richard Allen (Countryside)

While I feel the Third Crossing is an important link to add to our transportation network, I do not believe the Wellington Extension to be, and I do not believe their fates are entwined. The extension has been part of the City’s plan for a long time, but I do not think it is in line with the other goals and plans that the city has set forth for itself in regards to sustainability, waterfront access, and making better use of our current inventory of roads.   In addition, the traffic demand for simply is not there – it is more cost effective to improve the efficiency and capacity of the roads we already have. In fact we have a road maintenance deficit across Kingston, and we should consider improving the roads we have before building new ones.

Kevin Dressler (Trillium)

As this city grows there will be a need to build more roads and extend existing roads to take the pressure off other major routes. In the end traffic is free flowing and less accidents. Less car emissions due to people moving quickly to where ever they are going rather then sitting in traffic burning fuel. However, I feel it is a project that should be put on the back burner. The money can be best spent elsewhere, such as, finishing the widening of John Counter with an overpass. As everyone knows, a lot of potholes need to fixed and roads resurfaced.

Maureen Good (Portsmouth)

I have followed and studied the Third Crossing for years. I almost went to the OMB to fight it but, other Kingstonians lead the charge. I am against the Third Crossing and I am against the Wellington St extension. If at some time in the future if the Third Crossing was built and if the City of Kingston allowed downtown to be seriously negatively affected by the traffic from the Third Crossing then something would have to be done. I am in total agreement it is an old project on the books, seriously outdated for the times and should undergo a re-examination.

Roger Healey (Lakeside)

The Wellington Street Extension project reminds me of the ill-fated Spadina Expressway project of Toronto in the late sixties. Jane Jacobs lobbied successfully to get it cancelled, arguing that it was the construction of expressways into major American cities that led to an exodus of the middle class, and the death of once-vibrant downtown cores. Why must we repeat the mistakes of the past? Read about Jane Jacobs and the Spadina Expressway and you will see many parallels to the Wellington X situation. Almost fifty years ago!

Joan Jardin (Lakeside)

I am opposed to the Wellington Street extension for the following reasons:

  1. Douglas Fluhrer Park will have a street beside it where now it has a lane way. This will change the nature of the park from a tranquil peaceful place to a noisy, exhaust filled space.
  2. The street will encroach on Douglas Fluhrer Park, at parts it will completely cover the greenspace.
  3. The street will cut off the park from the neighbourhood; access will be hindered.
  4. Contrary to the Waterfront Plan, it will reduce access to the waterfront
  5. The extension would be promoting the use of cars to get downtown; this is contrary to the push for improved public transit.
  6. The extension is related to the third crossing of which I am not if favour.
  7. The benefits to reducing traffic flow elsewhere are questionable.

I want to celebrate the things that make Kingston special. The waterfront and green spaces make Kingston a great place to live. This extension reduces citizen’s quality of life.

Rob Matheson (Trillium)

The Wellington Street Extension is a supposed precursor to any 3 Crossing “bridge” concept. I feel we have many options we can explore collaboratively with the core vision of preserving green space and enhancing the waterfront and ensuring accessible public availability and community use. In fact I have stated that I would like to explore all options to do with a ‘3rd crossing’ including looking at Ferry systems. I believe we as a community can creatively innovate our own Kingston-made solution to this opportunity. The citizens and community must be brought into the process, and listened to. It is by working with citizens and groups such as WellingtonX, towards a shared positive outcome, that we can creatively find solutions and consensus driven ways forward. Should the project proceed, changes can and should be made to the scope, to adjust the impact felt by citizens and the waterfront parkland, and natural habitats. I will work to ensure that occurs. It is time we worked with citizens inclusively, and make them a part of their neighborhood planning and development process while always striving towards our goal of becoming Canada’s most sustainable city.

Jeff McLaren (Meadowbrook Strathcona)

I believe that the WSX is ill conceived for at least two reasons: 1) it destroys park space and 2) the people do not want it. I have heard over and over again as I have gone door to door that people want the potholes fixed and the roads repaired. Having talked to staff I have learned that the city is only $6 million short this year of what it needs to maintain the roads optimally. I would like to move money from the New road construction budget (the $35 million from the WSX) to the road maintenance budget so that we can have smooth roads again.

Lisa Osanic (Collins-Bayridge)

I do not support the Wellington St. extension being built south of Railway St. I was at the 2005 Open House for the extension. Building a major road along a waterfront is archaic planning from the 1970s!   Progressive cities don’t do that anymore. Waterfront is too precious. Besides the environmental consequences of salt, sand, oil, and debris that would wash from this extension into the Cataraqui River, the road would also cut the Douglas Fluhrer Park in half as the proposed extension runs so close to the water at one point, all of the hundred year old trees at this point would have to be removed. How ridiculous!   There are speed humps along Rideau St. They are very effective in slowing cars down. Cars that want to move faster can use Montreal St. and that is the purpose of Montreal St. – to move traffic north and south. We do not need the major road ( I saw plans for 4 lanes, but I would not even support 2 lanes) running along the Cataraqui River cutting through a waterfront park.

Floyd Paterson (Trillium)

Beyond Metal Craft Marine and the marina Wellington Street should be integrated into the park and be part of a trail that will extend as far as possible on an elevated walkway over wetlands, eventually reaching Kingston Mills; the Davis Tannery lands will need street access; the primary purpose of the third crossing is to disperse east-west traffic onto Brock, Johnson, John Counter Boulevard, Sir John A Boulevard, Princess Street West, and Taylor-Kidd; the downtown will continue to be serviced by La Salle Causeway, Montreal and Division Streets. The Third Crossing will unify our city, growing commercial services east of the Cataraqui River. Don’t be anti-motor vehicle, be pro-conserving the natural environment and upgrading vehicle access, both for the multitude, whether on foot, or on wheels, and plan intelligently this different sharing of sevices and open space. The Transportation Master Plan needs to be re-written. I don’t live just in one Kingston district, I live in the whole city!! That’s my pan-Kingston view.

James Sayeau (Loyalist Cataraqui)

I am against Wellington St. Extension. It’s a good spot for public and community groups to gather. The Wellington St. Extension would destroy the natural beauty of the landscape and drive away wildlife that eat and live in the area -ie; ducks and geese. If I’m voted in as Councillor, I will be voting against this project.

Peter Stroud (Sydenham)

The only type of change I see would be beneficial at the end of the paved part of Wellington would be to convert that potholed gravel road into a bicycle path. If it were paved for cars, not only would it be expensive, it would be a road splitting off and then rejoining the same flow, unless there were indeed a 3rd crossing, which I believe would be a waste of money for what it did to improve traffic flow.

Alexander Young (Portsmouth)

Thank you for giving me a forum to state my position on the Wellington Street Extension. I don’t take spending our money very lightly. I am very frugal in my approach to issues. I do not endorse large expenditures that will cost everyone more money in these trying economic times. In order for an expenditure to be justified I think it needs to pay off big-time in terms of job opportunities, community enjoyment or a real improvement in quality of life. Lastly in regards to the waterfront I think the song says it best, I do not want to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

An Alternative: North-South Suite / One-Way Streets

The Wellington Street Extension is the City of Kingston’s solution to a perceived traffic congestion problem on downtown streets running north and south.

It is this writer’s thesis that the entire Extension concept, as it currently stands, is not only terrible urban design, but largely unnecessary, and far too expensive. Furthermore, there is a plausible alternative available that has been entirely neglected so far. We can move traffic in and out of downtown more fluidly by making two of the existing north-south streets one-way. This is cheaper, and it takes a plausible and practical approach of distributing traffic rather than funneling it.

Kingston already has such a one-way street system operational in its downtown. Princess, Brock, and Johnson Streets were originally all two-way streets, but in the 1960s, this suite of streets was transformed into a one-way system, which is still in place. It is well established practice that one-way street traffic can increase flow by 10 per cent, 20 per cent, 30 per cent, or even more, without increasing the number of cars on each street. The existing one-way streets have been accepted by Kingstonians and no protest has been made in the nearly half-century since installation.

We could do something similar with Rideau, Bagot, and Montreal streets.

All three currently carry two-way traffic.  Under my concept,

  1. Montreal, the busiest of the three, would remain two-way from the north to the corner of Rideau / Railway. It would then convert to one-way, running SOUTH, all the way to its end at Brock Street / Hotel Dieu.
  2. Bagot, likely the second-busiest of the three, would remain two-way.
  3. Rideau, likely the quietest of the three, with a 40-km/h speed limit between Barrack Street and the area just at the last housing before the parks on its west, would be converted to a one-way, running NORTH from downtown. It could keep its existing speed limits.
  4. Russell Street would be reconnected to Rideau Street.
  5. River Street would be reconnected to Rideau Street, providing access from / to the Davis Tannery site. Access off Rideau into the Davis site is potentially available a block south of Russell, just as Rideau curves to the west.
  6. A Variant: Some people who favour this ‘North-South Suite’ concept substitute Division Street for Rideau Street.

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Under my plan, the different segments of the WSE would receive independent analysis as to their worth and cost.  The plan does not preclude certain northern elements of the WSE from being developed.

I propose that the North-South Suite plan be further discussed and detailed, and that it be taken to the Environmental, Infrastructure, and Transportation Policies (EITP) Committee in early November. Before the City goes any further in its planning for the Wellington Extension, it is only responsible — for fiscal, environmental, and political reasons — that it investigate plausible alternatives.

— Frank Dixon

Paved with Good Intentions?

Last night at St. Lawrence College’s mayoral All-Candidates’ Meeting, the hottest topic was the proposed extension to the airport runway. Some candidates seemed to think “if we build it, they will come.” They, in this case, being multiple airlines. Whatever the possible benefits of upgrading our airport, we don’t know if airlines will agree that Kingston actually has the market to attract them — or make them stay. Still, most candidates (with the exception of Slomka and Downes) said they’d put the $18 million down.

While I would love Kingston to have better air access, I can perfectly well imagine spending the money and ending up exactly where we are now.

The Wellington Street Extension is a similar problem. We could put the $35 million down, and then find that either

a) there isn’t that much traffic, partly because money never comes through for the third crossing; or

b) there is a lot of traffic, but other than speeding up some people’s commute by a few minutes, the benefit isn’t clear — given downsides such as facilitating sprawl, causing more parking problems downtown, and reducing access to and preservation of a waterway and waterfront.

Either way we might find ourselves wondering why we spent the money.

Last week on this blog, Mike Cole-Hamilton argued that more traffic and transportation needs studies have to be done. In yesterday’s post reprinted from the Whig, Carl Holmberg suggested some cheaper and he says more effective traffic solutions for the east side of the river. We’ll post some other alternatives coming up.

Why would we spend this money without being sure the bridge will really come through, and/or looking into alternatives?

We certainly could find other ways to spend $35 million. For example, at $600,000 each you could buy 58 buses. That is far more than needed, so how about we buy 40 buses (hybrid of course which pay for themselves over 20 years with fuel savings over conventional), and then put the other $11 million toward providing free transit. Or, we could put $11 million into other projects.

Bryan Paterson says that the cost of the WSE will be covered by “development charges.” However, we do not have $35 million just waiting in an account. Even if we did, city staff has confirmed that this money isn’t attached to any particular project. It could indeed be used for other needed infrastructure: not only other roads, but water, sewer, parks, libraries, fire equipment, buses, etc.

Let’s be reasonable, people. Pavement is not the only infrastructure we need around here.

— Laura Murray

An East-Ender Against the Third Crossing

It is commonly said that everybody who lives on the east side of the river wants a bridge and its associated connectors, namely the Wellington Street Extension. Not so. Carl Holmberg, former Reeve of Pittsburgh Township and lifelong advocate of his area of town, had this to say in a letter to the Whig from June 18, 2014 (slightly edited for length):

I will state categorically: Kingston and provincial taxpayers cannot afford a bridge of “convenience”; it is not needed but rather wanted (in part because no other more affordable traffic-calming options have been put on the table for citizens to consider).

Obviously, proceeding with a $200 + million project must be based upon a very real need and with assurances the solution will solve the problem. This is where the rationale falls apart.  A new bridge will not solve the traffic problems in Kingston East.   I travel the corridor between the downtown area and Gore Road on Hwy 15 several times most every day at various times, ranging from 7 pm and 6 pm and have done so for many years and do feel somewhat qualified to comment.

During the so-called rush hours (7 – 8:30 am), the primary area of congestion is from the Royal Military College main entrance to the top of Fort Henry Hill and then worsens at the junction of Count Road 2 on Hwy 15 to Gore Road.  Once traffic reaches this junction going north, most of it quickly disperses either into the subdivisions along 15 or towards Hwy 401.  Traffic in the morning coming south on 15 begins to back up at the same junction.  It is this junction (Gore Road at Hwy 15) where the new crossing is proposed.

Quite simply then, can someone explain to me how will a bridge being erected at the end (for afternoon rush hour) or the beginning (for morning rush hour) of the corridor of primary congestion ease the traffic within the  corridor itself?  All of the same traffic tie-ups will continue in the mornings and afternoons because CFB/RMC will continue to travel the same routes.  Nothing will change without introducing other remedies that are quite doable.  Yes, of course they will involve some costs, but the city itself would be able to handle them (without a handout from our over-extended provincial credit card).

One piece of the traffic solution is an idea I spoke with CFB about 15 or so years ago as the then reeve of Pittsburgh Township.  This was at a time when the base began to seriously expand after threats of closure, and I have no doubt that a record of this is likely still hiding in a file where on CFB.

The thought was to create a new exit/entrance on the northeast end of the base, to give CFB workers the option to avoid Hwy 15 in its entirety.  In other words, instead of having just one north-south artery, there would be two.

There is already an undeveloped road past the Garrison Golf and Curling Club and a gated entrance/exit to Gore Road at this location.  Along with Gore Road, this road can be improved and the road opened to traffic.  Several new access roads could then also enable traffic to move in and out of Greenwood and Grenadier subdivisions (which are already composed mostly of military families).  Gore Road could be extended to join Butternut Creek Road, enabling quick access to Hwy 401 at Middle Road.

Having two separated north/south arteries (Hwy 15 and Gore Road) between the base and the 401 would greatly assist in managing traffic congestion on Hwy 15.  This alternative would also open up lands for additional residential/commercial development, calming the increasing demands along Hwy 15, which is going to get even busier in future years.

The above suggestion, when presented to the base, was warmly entertained and presumably shelved because of a lack of political follow-up over the years following amalgamation.  It may be timely for our representatives/staff to reopen this conversation.

In addition to the above, Hwy 15 can and should be widened to four lanes (similar to Gardiner’s Road, outer Princess Street and Bath Road) from County Road 2 at least as far as the St. Lawrence Business Park in the short term, and eventually to the 401.  This would significantly contribute to current tie-up relief as well as prepare for the added congestion as the corridor develops over the coming years.

A final suggestion to help ease congestion would be to build a northbound merge lane onto Hwy 15 at the Matheson Gate for traffic exiting the base.  Just one car tripping the traffic lights to turn right on Hwy 15 creates additional unnecessary backups along Hwy 15 to the County Road 2 junction.  The current road design does not allow a car to miss the road plate to avoid a signal trip.  I would encourage city hierarchy to visit and personally witness this fact.

We are all aware that over taxation at every level is seriously over-burdening taxpayers. Ontario’s net debt has placed our financial situation on par with that of Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain and California.  We are picking our money tree clean, the well is drying up, and yet we have the nerve to stand in line, hat in hand and ask for help from an already maxed-out provincial credit card for a project that cannot be defined as a  real need.