I am writing to give you an update on cycling in Williamsville and to encourage you to contact City Council members if you have concerns. The City plans to move ahead without consideration for on-road cycling facilities on Princess Street in Williamsville.
Despite cycling having been raised many times in the public consultation process, the consultants did not address cycling in the final document. People wrote emails and letters, spoke with City staff and consultants, and spoke out at public meetings.
The City’s January 2012 Williamsville Main Street Study newsletter notes that: “Because of concerns expressed by the public that dedicated cycling lanes be provided in this area, the MMM Group was asked to further examine this issue, and it was concluded that the existing right-of-way of 20 metres is too limited to allow dedicated cycling lanes in addition to the other required uses.” The “other required uses” translates as: “Keep on-street parking on BOTH sides of Princess”. The Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation (KCAT) proposed removing one side of on-street parking to allow room for two dedicated bike lanes.
Presentations were made at the City’s Planning Committee, Environment Infrastructure Transportation Policies Committee, and City Council in favour of on-road cycling facilities in Williamsville. Six hundred people signed a petition and commented on reasons why cycling infrastructure is important on Princess Street in Williamsville. There are many economic, environmental, social, health, and safety benefits to increasing active transportation opportunities by providing ‘complete streets’ – space for everyone.
The Williamsville Plan is still to keep two lanes of parking, and two travel lanes to be shared by motorists – including transit – and cyclists. At the Council meeting on October 16, Council approved “the use of the Williamsville Main Street Study plans and details regarding the treatment of Princess Street as the basis for the development of detailed engineering and construction plans necessary for reconstruction” in 2014 (Bath Road to Macdonnell). Once engineering and construction plans start (which is very soon if not already in the works), there will be no opportunity for cycling facilities.
Council did not discuss “Williamsville Main Street Cycling Lanes” as it was deferred until Tuesday, October 23.
More information about Williamsville is on the City’s website.
If you, your family, friends, and colleagues would like to see consideration for cyclists on Princess Street in Williamsville, please let City Council know before Tuesday night’s meeting. Their addresses are: