City Matters – December 12, 2019 Issue
Kingston's Recognition Statement provides the guiding motto for City Matters: "Let us bring our good minds and hearts together."
Red light cameras coming to Kingston in 2022
At its Dec. 3 meeting, Council decided to install red light cameras at a minimum of 10 intersections beginning in 2022 – the earliest year the City can join the provincial program that includes a number of Ontario municipalities where red light cameras are in use.
"This is about road safety," says Ian Semple, Director, Transportation Services. "Intersections and aggressive driving are two emphasis areas that we are focused on when it comes to road safety and red light cameras are a valuable enforcement tool in reducing the frequency and severity of intersection collisions."
Red light cameras have been shown to reduce the incidence of motorists running red lights by at least 50 per cent and can reduce the frequency of right-angle collisions – also known as T-bone collisions – by at least 25 per cent and often more. The City's most recent data shows there were more than 60 T-bone collisions from 2014-2018. Twenty-two of those resulted in injuries.
The cost of operating the Red Light Camera (RLC) program is estimated at $631,900 a year. The current fine for running a red light in Ontario is $325 – the municipality receives $260 of that. To cover the cost of the program, 0.7 tickets would need to be issued per camera per day. All eight municipalities that are currently operating red light cameras in Ontario are recovering all their operating costs from the violations issued.
Transportation Services will now review up-to-date collision information at intersections with traffic signals and work with Kingston Police to develop the list of locations for the cameras. They must also:
- Amend the Highway Traffic Act to show where the red light cameras will operate.
- Prepare agreements with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Transportation, the City of Toronto and the red light camera contractor.
- Develop administrative and court processes to support the red light camera program.
- Receive approval from the Ministry of the Attorney General on proposed procedures.
- Develop an education program and communications to support the launch of the RLC program in early 2022.
Enhancing public safety through active transportation and a focus on pedestrian access and enforcement is one of the goals outlined in the City's strategic priority to improve walkability, roads and transportation.
See the full Installation of Red Light Cameras Report to Council (Report 20-009) on this project.
Plan aims to grow the number of family physicians in Kingston
We know there are many Kingstonians who do not have a family physician. This impacts both our individual and community health. It is critical that we take action with other community stakeholders to work to address this issue," says Craig Desjardins, Director, Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships.
As part of the work to be undertaken, more precise data on the scope of the problem will be gathered. In fact, estimates of residents without a family doctor range from 5,000-30,000.
At its Dec. 3 meeting, Council agreed to use $50,000 from the City's Working Fund Reserve to study the supply of family physicians in Kingston and develop a Family Physician Supply Plan. The study will be led by the Kingston Community Health Centre and will involve key community stakeholders including the Kingston Area Health Care Taskforce.
Kingston is not designated a "high needs" community for family physicians in Ontario's healthcare system. This means that family physicians are limited from practicing in Kingston under the most desirable practice models, such as Family Health Teams. Setting up an independent practice is considered very costly by many family doctors.
Once completed, the study will be shared with the province and will determine the scope and scale of Kingston's doctor shortage and include:
- The number of Kingstonians without a family physician.
- The recent loss of local family physicians in Kingston due to retirements, relocations, deaths and other issues.
- The use of local Emergency Rooms.
- Those doctors who do not have a family practice open to the public due to their affiliation with institutions.
The study will be used to advocate for change to Kingston's designation and to inform the Family Physicians Supply Plan. That plan is expected to include potential incentive programs to help the City attract and retain more family doctors.
See the full Physician Recruitment and Retention Report to Council (Report 20-022) on this issue.
Earlier this month, the Grand Theatre became a single-use-plastic-free facility! Next up: the INVISTA Centre will remove single-use plastics by mid-2020. Aside from being inherently wasteful, many single-use plastics, such as plastic cutlery and drinking straws, cannot be recycled and end up in landfills, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
How the City prioritizes road work
The City's Engineering department manages a road network of approximately 859 km. Maintaining the network effectively relies on a great deal of data collection and analysis that equips City engineers to make informed decisions about road work.
"Consistent data and multi-year budget approvals help us maximize our efficiencies and take a proactive approach to road repairs," says Luke Follwell, Director of Engineering.
Here's how the City's Engineering team determines how road work is prioritized.
Complete a technical analysis of roads
- Collecting road condition data. Every few years, a road condition survey is performed using a specialized vehicle that uses continuous laser scanning technology to measure 11 types of pavement distress. The City has just completed the road condition survey that will help determine its road work plans for this term of Council.
- Assigning an Overall Condition Index score. Using data from the road condition survey, road segments are then assigned distress values from 0 to 100, which are then further weighted by importance to result in an Overall Condition Index (OCI) score (new roads = 100 OCI). A list of road segments is then developed and mapped, based on the sections rated very poor and poor. This helps identify the roadways in the most immediate need. The results are then cross referenced with information from road patrols, Public Works' maintenance requests and field inspections.
Review proposed road works in light of capital plans, underground infrastructure and other factors
- The list of road segments rated poor/very poor is reviewed with Utilities Kingston to see if the underground infrastructure below them may also need rehabilitation. If so, these projects are set aside to be aligned with future capital projects.
- The remaining road segments are then reviewed with the City's Transit, Active Transportation and Planning & Building groups to ensure road upgrades are incorporated into planned projects.
- Road segments with high traffic volumes or that are on transit or emergency routes are prioritized to the top of the list.
Prioritize and plan road works
- Potential projects are again reviewed with the City's Transportation, Utilities Kingston, Storm Water Design and Transit groups to find efficiencies with other proposed projects.
- The scope of target projects is further defined using geotechnical data.
- Rehabilitation costs are then estimated and projects that fit within the capital budget are selected.
- Projects are then bundled appropriately and the process to procure contractors begins.
On Nov. 26, Council was presented with a 2020-2022 capital budget for road works and other infrastructure projects (listed in Exhibit B starting on e-page 45 of the budget report). The budget is expected to be ratified at Council's Dec. 17 meeting.
Find out more about the City's approach to road work.
How the City's emergency shelter system works
Davis Tannery lands to be cleaned ahead of apartment development
The former Davis Tannery lands at 2 River St. and 50 Orchard St. overlook the Cataraqui River and are an easy waterfront-walk to downtown along the popular K&P Trail.
These 13 hectares are also heavily contaminated due to their former uses, which included a smelting operation and a leather tannery. The City has long been interested in seeing the lands cleaned up and made productive, but the estimated $66 million cost of remediating these brownfields has proved a significant barrier to development – until recently.
"The City has worked with the developer, Jay Patry Enterprises, over the last year on the proposed development to enhance its design, improve the public realm and provide greater setbacks from the Rideau Canal with a naturalized shoreline," says Paige Agnew, Director, Planning, Building & Licensing.
The City enlisted the assistance of Brent Toderian of TODERIAN UrbanWorks to support staff in working with the developer to create a revised concept that was presented to Council on Nov. 19. It was also presented to the public by the developer at widely publicized open houses on Dec. 5 and 10.
The revised design shows:
- A nine hectare area of the lands divided into four development blocks and open space and parkland blocks.
- Four six-storey buildings with a total 1,509 residential units and 4,961 square metres of ground-floor commercial space.
- Two new roads and an extension to Orchard Street.
- Private and public park space, including a proposed plaza/pavilion-style park.
- A boathouse for the Kingston Rowing Club.
See plans for the proposed development and artist's rendering in the Information Report (Report 19-295) presented to Council.
To support a feasible redevelopment of Kingston's largest and most contaminated brownfield property, will require changes to the current Brownfields Community Improvement Plan. This will be considered by the City's Planning Committee in the new year. Staff will also continue to work with the developer on other aspects of the proposed development through the technical review process of the Planning Act applications.
Building a significant number of new residential units with a range of affordability is one of the goals in the City's strategic priority to increase housing affordability.
Climate Change Symposium 2020 to focus on inspiring action
What actions are YOU, your family, your business and your organizations NOW going to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change?
The City and Sustainable Kingston aim to inspire local climate action by bringing together community networks to hear from influential speakers at the 2020 Climate Change Symposium, starting at noon on Jan. 16 at the Grand Theatre, 218 Princess St.
Featured speakers at this third annual symposium will include:
- Jennifer Keesmaat, former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto;
- Robert Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario;
- Mason Prout and Matt Brown from Patagonia; and
- Local industry experts.
"Each day, we make decisions that have a positive or negative impact on our environment. It can feel overwhelming. This year, at the Climate Change Symposium, we will identify the small (and large) ways we can all act and make a difference," says Kristin Mullin, Executive Director of Sustainable Kingston.
She notes that the Symposium is a great forum to showcase the latest developments in community-based climate initiatives – and to connect with policymakers, experts and interested members of the community to make climate action plans.
Tickets for the afternoon event are $20 or $15 for students (plus HST and handling fee).
The City and Sustainable Kingston are hosting this event which is also sponsored by St. Lawrence College, Queen's University, Lafarge, Carbonzero, Environmentall Contracting Services, Mac & Co. and Lightenco.
Density by Design
Help us grow buildings that work for Kingston! See the Issues and Options Report for the Density by Design project aimed at developing a Mid-rise and Tall Buildings Policy for Kingston. Offer your input at GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca*. The deadline for submitting comments and questions has been extended until Jan. 31, 2020.
K-Town Countdown moves to the INVISTA Centre. This year the City is aiming to make its New Year's Eve celebration better than ever by moving it to the INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd. The family-friendly K-Town Countdown will still take place from 5 to 9 p.m., but the move allows the City to offer more public skating, staged performances, and lots of free activities to ring in 2020.
Mayor invites you to the New Year's Levee! - Kingston residents are invited to start 2020 by coming out to meet Mayor Bryan Paterson, city Councillors and Mark Gerretsen, Member of Federal Parliament. Join them at the annual New Year's Levee 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. The event will also feature a New Year's welcome from the Town Crier and a poem from the City's poet laureate, Jason Heroux.
WasteNotYGK this holiday season. Find tips to reduce your waste this holiday season – and share your own tips using #WasteNotYGK on social media.
Winter is here, so it's time to review these snow and ice safety reminders from the City, Utilities Kingston and Kingston Fire & Rescue.