City engineers predict more asphalt in our future

Two weeks ago, we attended what was purportedly a “consultation” on the third crossing scheduled by the City’s engineering department for the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, WellingtonX, and the McBurney Park Neighbourhood Association. We were not impressed; few in attendance were. More questions were raised than answered, especially with respect to bridge financing and those pesky development charges.

One surprise in the latest batch of third crossing releases is the inclusion of the WSE on the engineers’ future traffic flow maps. Conveniently, the Director of Engineering did not include these maps in his presentation, nor were the original on-line versions of a high-enough resolution to determine for certain that the WSE was there. We requested clearer maps, however, and now we can see that most of the WSE is indeed featured in the engineering department’s 2034 traffic flow predictions.

The following letter was sent to staff at the beginning of the week, and we await a reply.

Dear Mr. Van Buren, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Keech, Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Franco,

Thank you for the invitation to attend the presentation on the proposed third crossing held at Artillery Park two weeks ago on Monday, April 24.

We understand that the event was supposed to help fulfill the required consultation with community groups; however, it was all rather confusing. The start time was changed, the person at the desk didn’t know that the meeting had been postponed (not cancelled) and sent away those who came at 7 o’clock, there was difficulty with the projection equipment, there was insufficient time for all our questions, and the answers to some of the questions were contradictory. We do not feel that this was a “consultation” opportunity and are left with many more questions. Could you please answer the following at your earliest opportunity?

1. Now that higher resolution images have been posted on line (“Strategic Case” travel flow maps) we can see that much of the proposed Wellington Street Extension has been drawn on these maps. Why does the WSE feature in your 2034 traffic pattern mapping?

2. Can you please tell us if there is a stated caveat in the full document that the WSE is currently under review through the secondary planning process?

3. If $20M is predicted to be available from development charges for the bridge by 2019, would there be nothing left for any other road (and related) projects? Recently we were told there was only $11M in the development charge fund. Is this $20M a separate fund?

In answer to a question, Ms. Kennedy stated that if the bridge were not built, the $20M would either return to the development community, or be used for other projects.

4. Whose decision would that be?

5. What is the impact on other road projects if all the roads money in the development charges envelope is used for the third crossing?
Many thanks in advance for your responses.

Sincerely,
WellingtonX