You may have attended or received notice of one of the nine consultation sessions associated with the Community Visioning Exercise and Preliminary Market Analysis to launch the North King’s Town Secondary Plan.
This was an ambitious and wide-ranging consultation. Probably about 1000 Kingstonians took part in the consultations. DIALOG consultants were present at three of the consultations and city staff were at all of them.
You may be wondering what the community said at these meetings, or whether records were kept of what they said.
Happily, the summaries of the consultations have been posted on the city website.
There were valuable, wide-ranging comments from the public on social, business, cultural and environmental issues, and many specific suggestions for the area. On issues especially related to the WSE (Douglas Fluhrer Park, waterfront and wildlife, parks, roads, transit, trails and bike paths), comments in all nine of the consultations were in favour of:
- more and better transit
- more walkability and biking, including to work
- more bike paths, trails and sidewalks
- the K&P trail a bike/walk green corridor not next to roads
- fewer cars; less reliance on cars
- improving existing roads
- renovating the Outer Station at its current location rather than moving it to Douglas Fluhrer Park
- quiet waterfront parks with no roads next to them
- increasing and preserving community green space and public waterfront, including the wild feel of the waterfront
- protection of wildlife, nature, the land and the water
- quiet, natural, safe walking paths and bike paths through green space.
No comments opposed any of these.
Many people spoke specifically about the Wellington Street Extension. ALL of the comments summarized in 8 of the 9 consultations were against the Wellington Street Extension; there were ZERO comments in favour.
The one consultation with comments in favour of the WSE was the “Old Industrial Area Visits to Businesses, Social Service Providers and Residents,” for which, unfortunately, city staff did not record the number of people consulted. Rationales given for the WSE in that consultation were to bring more people through the Old Industrial Area and increase property values, to take traffic off of other streets and to provide an access other than Montreal Street for the area. While these goals may be important, they could clearly be met in other, less damaging ways.
It is clear that Kingstonians want a greener, less car-oriented city and no Wellington Street Extension. We await DIALOG’s report and hope that it reflects the feedback they have documented. City staff and Council, please listen and only implement plans that fit that vision!
– Mary McCollam
A sampling of the comments from the public:
- Keep our valuable waterfront quiet, with no roads.
- Waterfront should be for everyone, including wildlife.
- Keep the “wild” feel of the waterfront.
- Put in a bike/walk green corridor instead of a road.
- More people will use the K&P trail if they are walking and biking among trees instead of cars.
- Don’t put trails next to roads.
- Replant lilacs along the K&P Trail.
- It would be nice to go for a walk at lunch, but there’s nowhere nice to walk in the Old Industrial Area.
- Keep the Outer Station where it is – it belongs there. Make it a community hub.
- It should be easy to walk to work within NKT.
- I’d like to cycle to work.
- Improve transit to lessen commuter reliance.
- The vision should state that alternatives to the WSE need to be found.