Red Light Cameras Coming to Kingston

Red light camera - York Region

red light camera signage in York Region

At our April 5 council meeting, City Council will be asked to provide final approval for the introduction of red light cameras in Kingston. If approved they will installed and operational by early 2017. I am supportive of red light cameras as a measure to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in our community.

Red light cameras are already in place in a number of cities across the province including Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton and they have proven to be reliable, consistent – and most importantly, to reduce collisions at high traffic intersections.

The cameras will be located at 10 of the busiest intersections in the city:

  1. Queen Street & Montreal Street
  2. Division Street & John Counter Boulevard
  3. Perth Road & Unity Road
  4. Taylor Kidd Boulevard & Bayridge Drive
  5. Bath Road & Portsmouth Avenue
  6. Gardiners Road & Princess Street
  7. Princess Street & Sir John A. Boulevard
  8. Princess Street & Taylor Kidd / John Counter Boulevard
  9. Gardiners Road & Taylor Kidd Boulevard
  10. John Counter Boulevard & Sir John A. Boulevard

The proposed red light camera program is designed to be revenue neutral – the expected number of tickets issued is meant to cover the cost of the cameras. My hope is these cameras will encourage all of us to drive with extra care, the fewer tickets the better in my books!

2016 Federal Budget: Opportunities for Kingston

This week I made the trip to Ottawa to hear the details of the federal budget as it was presented in the House of Commons by the Finance Minister. Here are a few of the budget announcements and what they could mean for us;

Infrastructure spending: the 2016 federal budget pledges $120 billion over the next 10 years. This has potential to bring federal investment for the Third Crossing, affordable housing and public transit in Kingston.

Innovation: $800 million to support innovation networks and clusters. As we continue work to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Kingston there is great potential to build an innovation cluster through a partnership with Queen’s, St. Lawrence College, RMC and technology entrepreneurs like Innovate Kingston.

Youth Employment: the budget speech hinted at investments in programs to create more co-op and on the job learning opportunities. This kind of investment would line up with our made-in-Kingston youth employment strategy. I look forward to further details and how we can leverage more federal investment for youth jobs in Kingston.

Arts and culture: $1.9 billion for the arts and culture sector. We have an incredibly vibrant arts and culture scene here in Kingston and it’s great to hear recognition of the importance of continued investment in arts and culture and the significant role it plays in quality of life.

While there is still a lot of detail yet to come on the roll out and implementation of these investments, I will continue to look for opportunities to align our Smart and Livable City vision and strategic priorities with the federal government. I look forward to working with MP Gerretsen to advocate for investments in our community.

From the Mayor’s Chair – March 22

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the March 22  Council meeting include the approval of the Waterfront Master Plan an ambitious plan to invest over $60 million in Kingston’s 280 kilometers of shoreline over the next 30 years. Council voted to send the Samsung solar project community benefit fund to the Rural Advisory Committee to hear from residents about how they want to see the money from the fund spent and Council asked staff to explore a policy to treat all organizations equally when requesting fee waivers for city facility rentals.

Watch the March 22 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair here

From the Mayor's Chair -

For an archive of previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this website.

Investing in Our Waterfront

Our waterfront is one of our city’s most important assets. That’s why Council named it as one of our top strategic priorities!

Next week City Council will be presented with the Waterfront Master Plan, an ambitious plan to invest $60 million in Kingston’s 280 kilometers of shoreline over the next 30 years. This plan was built by Kingstonians for Kingstonians, with recommendations reflecting two years of public consultation that included workshops, surveys, public meetings, online chats, stakeholder interviews, open houses and more.

The Waterfront Master Plan identifies 81 distinct water access and pathway improvement projects, from Collins Bay in the west end to Grass Creek Park in the east end and downtown waterfront destinations in between. Given the number of improvements identified and the magnitude of investment needed to realize these projects, staff has prioritized a list of projects for the next 10 years.

To give you a sense of the waterfront enhancements we are looking at, here are a few of the projects on the list for the next 10 years;

Confederation Basin Breakwater Pathway

Beakwater rendering - Waterfront Master Plan

Top photo of existing breakwater, bottom photo a rendering of what the addition of a path may look like

Richardson Beach at Macdonald Memorial Park

Macdonald Park - Waterfront Master Plan

Richardson Beach - Waterfront Master Plan

Top photo of existing waterfront, bottom photo a rendering of what additional waterfront access features may look like

Deadmans’ Bay Pathway at Fort Henry

Deamans Bay overview - Waterfront Master Plan

Deamans Bay rendering - Waterfront Master Plan

Top photo of existing space, bottom photo a rendering of what the addition of a pathway may look like

This plan provides a great vision and prioritization of improvement projects over the next 30 years. The city does not, however, own all the lands required to connect our waterfront so we need to be flexible and ready for other opportunities as they come up. The redevelopment of Kingston Penitentiary is a good example of waterfront not owned by the city but holds major revitalization potential that could be accomplished in partnership with the federal government.

The Waterfront Master Plan will enhance the quality of life for all Kingstonians as we get to work improving waterfront parks, paths and access to our beautiful shoreline; I cannot wait to get these improvement projects started!

 

For more information on the Waterfront Master Plan please visit the City of Kingston website, here. Be sure to check out the interactive waterfront story map here 

Let’s Recognize Kingston’s Outstanding Volunteers

03_2016_CivicAwards_FacebookPost

Every year during our Canada Day celebrations I have the great privilege of presenting awards to Kingstonians who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to our community. The City’s Civic Awards program, now in its 18th year, honour exemplary individuals who have made a difference in our community through volunteerism.

I am asking for your help Kingston!  Some of the greatest volunteers and contributors in our city work behind the scenes and out of the spotlight. You may know or benefit from the work that they do, but we don’t, unless you take a few moments to nominate them. So please, take just a few minutes to fill out the short nomination form, linked below.  Together we can recognize outstanding citizens of all ages making a difference each and every day!

Click here for nomination forms

About the City’s Civic Awards

The nomination period is open from March 14 to April 15, 2016.

Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteerism
The Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteerism recognize individuals up to age 24 who demonstrate leadership and outstanding volunteerism in three categories: Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12 and post-secondary.

First Capital Distinguished Citizen/Honourable Achievement

The First Capital Distinguished Citizen/Honourable Achievement Awards recognize volunteers of all ages for community contributions.

Learn more about the awards program and view past winners by visiting the City’s website at www.CityofKingston.ca/Awards

Bringing Back the Crosswalk

In both my time as a city councilor and now as mayor, one of the most common concerns I hear about is the city’s courtesy crossings. The concern is not that people don’t appreciate the attempt to make our roads more pedestrian friendly, it’s the fact that cars are not legally obligated to stop at these crossings. This makes it difficult, especially for children or for seniors, to gauge when it might be safe to cross.

Unfortunately provincial law has prohibited the city from installing legal crosswalks, making courtesy crossings the best we could do – until now. After years of lobbying the province, along with other municipalities, we can now install legal pedestrian crosswalks, known as pedestrian crossovers. These crossovers are expected to have specialized signage, pavement markings, amber lights, and most importantly, will require cars to stop.

Crossover example - ministry of transportation.jpg

The City’s crossovers may look like the image above, provided by the Ministry of Transportation website

Starting this year, the city will begin converting our 10 existing courtesy crossings to legal crosswalks. Once the existing crosswalks have been converted we can then consider other locations where crossings may be beneficial. In my view this is an important step towards a more walkable, inclusive and ultimately a smart and livable city!

From the Mayor’s Chair – March 1

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the March 1  Council meeting include the approval of a study grant to look at the potential environmental clean up costs of the proposed Homestead apartment buildings on Queen Street, an update to the city’s age-friendly plan including a conversation about converting courtesy crosswalks into legal crosswalks, and the approval of a review of best practices with the aim of providing a fresh way for public to provide input on new development proposals.

Watch the March 1 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair here

From the Mayor's Chair -

For an archive of previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this website.