This week City Council gave the green light to a formal process to explore potential alternatives to the proposed Wellington Street Extension (WSX). This re-examination of the WSX is part of a larger visioning exercise for the North King’s Town area; an exercise that seeks to revitalize and reimagine both the Inner Harbour and the Old Industrial Area north of downtown.
Until this point, the North King’s Town visioning has focused on collecting community input about what the future of this area of the city should look like. It’s very clear from the input that many Kingstonians are concerned with the WSX, primarily the southern portion of the road and especially the potential loss of green space in Doug Fluhrer Park.
I think it’s great that we as a community are working together to find a compromise on this issue. I do believe that we need a road network that can facilitate redevelopment of the Inner Harbour and the Old Industrial Area. I also believe we need to make infrastructure investments that can unlock the potential of the Davis Tannery site and other parts of the surrounding neighbourhood. But I fully agree with the importance of preserving and expanding waterfront green space. I’m sure that we as a city can come up with creative ideas to achieve all of these goals at the same time.
Going forward there will need to be a lot of technical analysis done to analyze everything from traffic flows to infrastructure needs to market demand for housing. We will see the results of this technical analysis at some point next year but I am hopeful that this work will point to an innovative solution that is worthy of a smart and livable, 21st century city.