As a result of approximately $8 million spent in studies and consulting fees, the Kingston “bridge party” claims that the Third Crossing offers our community benefits, refined down to seven points.
These alleged benefits deserve scrutiny.
Unproven at best, and possibly misleading.
The City’s traffic report (AECOM, 2011) asserts “the delay reduction attributed to the higher transit use is equivalent to or higher than the delay savings achieved from the road improvements.”
In sum, the Third Crossing offer the city no benefits.
Traffic currently using the Causeway falls well within the acceptable limit already set by City policy.
This claim rests on two misapprehensions.
1) First, the implication that the east end of the city has inadequate access to emergency vehicles contradicts the City of Kingston Master Fire Plan which, referring to station #3, states “The converging response program is proving to be very effective and when coupled with comprehensive fire prevention program it has the potential to allow us to sustain the current volunteer/career fire response programs.”
2) As for other City services, the east side enjoys adequate garbage collection, street maintenance, utilities etc. According to Kingston Transit management the current level of public transport operates an efficient scheduled service rarely suffering delays.
A multi-million dollar investment in a third crossing would not seem to add any increased benefit to City services already in place.
Two alternative route already exist. Highway #401 and the Kingston Mills crossing
Both of these crossings are serviced and maintained by other levels of government, and are no drain on City coffers or the Kingston taxpayer.
By ‘active transportation’, this refers to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Bicycles require two lanes—pedestrians can edge past each other, but cyclists can’t. If wheelchairs and bicycles share lanes, hand powered wheelchairs could cause congestion. At twelve to fourteen meters above the river, on 1.2 kilometer bridge over open water winds can make cycling or walking difficult and winter can make them nearly impossible. The “opportunity” would come at a high cost and low utility.
A multiuse trail will be a bonus, not a reason.
This is a most puzzling statement. Just how a 1.2 kilometer bridge spanning the waterway can be called an enhancement to the natural habitat and beauty of the river and canal system recognized as a World Heritage site is hard to understand.