As your Councillor I plan to address issues pertaining to our transportation infrastructure, including;
- Road repair, including patching and resurfacing where required
- Building safe cycling infrastructure
- Improving safety at intersections
- Improving traffic flow on arterial roads to reduce the volume of traffic cutting through the neighbourhood
We have an ever-increasing backlog of road maintenance issues in Williamsville that need to be addressed, and I will fight to ensure that these necessary repairs are done to ensure the safety of all road users. Brock Street, Johnson Street, and Victoria Street in particular are in need of major repair, as well as Sir John A MacDonald Blvd between Princess and Bath, including the intersections. I will also fight to ensure that pothole repairs on ALL roads are completed in a timely manner.
All road repairs, including pothole patching, must be done to the highest possible standard. Even if it costs a little more up front, we save over the long term by avoiding having to repair the same areas year after year.
There’s more to building cycling infrastructure than simply painting a white line down the right side of the road. While the City has been including cycling lanes on new and reconstructed roads, proper intersection design to reduce conflict points between vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians hasn’t been taken into consideration. Various designs of cyclist and pedestrian friendly intersections are used in Europe and are starting to be installed in North America.
Protected cycling lanes are commonplace in the Netherlands, but we do have some here in Canada, particularly in Ottawa and Montreal, with some being installed in Toronto as well. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here in Kingston, we just need to look outside our borders at what’s working well in other parts of the world and figure out how to implement those ideas here. It’s also a great opportunity to look at what doesn’t work so well and find ways to improve. New or reconstructed roads where we have space in the right-of-way should have a physically separated cycling lane. Even with a limited right of way width, protecting the cycling lane could be done with a curb or delineator posts.
I am not opposed to deploying red light cameras at high risk intersections, but enforcement is only one piece of the puzzle. Red light cameras are reactionary, and while they may deter intentional red light running they can not prevent a vehicle unintentionally running the red. Good traffic Engineering can, and I plan on working with our Engineering department to see if there are ways to further improve intersection safety. Extending yellow light timing, for example, has been proven to reduce red light running in other municipalities. Tampa, Florida utilizes red light cameras, and after extending their yellow light by one second saw a 79% drop in red light violations.
I will oppose the operation of red light cameras by private entities. The number one goal of any traffic safety measure is to ensure the safety of all road uses – not revenue generation. There should be no profit element involved in any public safety initiative.
A handful of roads within the neighbourhood see a high volume of cut-through traffic, Alfred Street and Victoria Street in particular. This is traffic originating outside the neighbourhood cutting through to get to a destination outside the neighbourhood. I will be looking at ways to improve traffic flow on our arterial roads – Division, Concession, Princess, Bath – to deter cutting though the neighbourhood. In particular, traffic signal timing on Division and Princess could potentially be adjusted, and I plan on working with our Engineering department to see what can be done here.