There have been a number of opinions published in the local press over the Third Crossing project. A recent article by Ian Coutts in Kingston Life presents a thoughtful picture of the project in relation to the circumstances the City of Kingston finds itself in today.
Sustainability and Resiliency
Growing concerns about the number and utility of major capital projects identified in the Kingston Official Plan, specifically the ‘Third Crossing’ have prompted engaged citizens to question the adverse effects on our community. While the ‘Third Crossing’ of the Cataraqui River may have seemed like a good idea many years ago, it has become a detriment to the Kingston of today. For a city that espouses sustainability and resiliency, the negative impacts it will have on our social, economic and ecological environment are clear.
Concerns about climate change were expressed in last year’s Paris Conference (COP 21 Paris).190 countries including the Canadian Government agreed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. This agreement was endorsed by the City of Kingston council as well.
City documents show that the project will increase total car trips by 22% in afternoons’ peak hours. Traffic volume in some parts of the city will also increase by up to 180%. The immediate impact of these changes will considerably increase greenhouse gas emissions on both sides of the city.
Not in keeping with the Official Plan to make Kingston one of the most sustainable cities on the continent. Studies show that road widening does not decrease traffic congestion in the medium and long term. In fact it increases the number of vehicles. The Kingston Transportation Master Plan reveals that in terms of Level of Service ‘E’, traffic volume increases by 1000 vehicles/km.
The Third Crossing is not aligned with the City’s plans and endorsements with regard to climate change and neglects our real priorities and next generation resiliency.
1. A Sunday morning commute compared to an average weekday.
2. Typical Thursday Kingston traffic flow starting at 6:30 am running until 10:30pm
Hear what must be said about climate change!
The Third Crossing project is neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly.
The cost for the construction and operation of a third crossing will fall squarely on the shoulders of every Kingston resident. What will that cost be? The quick answer is – we don’t yet know.
At twelve to fourteen meters above the river, on a 1.2 kilometer bridge over open water winds can make cycling or walking difficult and in the winter it can make them nearly impossible.
According to recent City housing forecast report, Kingston already has enough housing supply to meet demand for the next 15 years. City of Kingston Population Projection Report states Kingston Population will begin to decline starting in 2031.
In addition, we should consider that road construction itself is a very carbon intensive undertaking, generating up to 3234 tonnes of CO2 per kilometre
Don’t be misled, not all residents think the crossing is desirable!
“The proposed crossing will be a bridge of convenience, not one of necessity.”
Carl Holmberg, Reeve of the former Pittsburgh Township and deputy mayor of the City of Kingston, KWS – 24/1/16
“I’m still unconvinced a third crossing is a good idea. . . . My main complaint was, once again, as with the Big Dig and accepting building an $18 million parking garage downtown, we’ve been really loose with taxpayer dollars.”
Jim Neill, Kingston City Councillor. KWS – 13/1/16
“No need for a third crossing, the 401 is now a 6 lane highway it can accommodate the traffic, it’s how I get from west end/downtown to east end The only reason people want a 3rd crossing is to save time, and is an extra 15 min of driving worth the added taxes etc I don’t think so.”
Chris Brooks – City Facebook – 21/6/16
We need a sustainable community living within its means!