Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kingston's LVEC: there is no "good" solution

The city has "postponed" a meeting scheduled for this evening; it was to be about the intersection of Ontario Street and Place d'Armes.
Citizens and tourists entering Kingston from the east, via the LaSalle Causeway, know what a mess the eastern entrance to the city has become.
Having decided, in error, to put the LVEC on a block that is far too small, the mayor and council are now forced to sit back and watch frustrated city employees make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Not only is this block too small for such a monstrosity, the streets in the downtown are totally unsuitable for dealing with traffic coming into the city (that is, just reegular traffic). Just think: the Downtown Action Plan, approved by the previous council, identifies Ontario Street as a "scenic drive." And, staff said that the intention is to have little traffic in front of City Hall.
This obviously meeans that since there are, and always will be, only 2 lanes of traffic going off the Causeway, there will be big problems moving the estimated 2000 cars/day into town at that location.
Locals who haven't driven on Place d'Armes toward Fort Frontenac, should do that. At the moment, the (dreaded) LVEC consumes what was an entire lane of the street.
Just how in the world can the intersection of Ontario Street & Place d'Armes be configured? It's no wonder that the consultant TSH needs more time, although the intersection was drawn and included in the 2003 DAP. At that time, design of the intersection was known, according to one senior city staff member.
Residents of Frontenac Village whose backyards face Place d'Armes, are going to find traffic speeding off the causeway (that's what is currently happening, and will continue to happen), travelling closer that 20' from their windows. This is disgraceful.
The city has treated citizens who live in the area of the (dreaded) LEVC with contempt and disrespect. The city should be ashamed. There are, in fact, city employees who are ashamed and who are embarassed by what the previous council has inflicted upon the city. It is they who are charged with finding "good" solutions to something for which there ARE no "good" solutions.
The city awaits the solution to an impossible situation.

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