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Emergency Detour Routes in Kingston

Emergency Detour Route, Highway 401, Kingston, OntarioKingston’s commuters have been putting up with a lot of grief this summer.  We’ve had to deal with road closures as a result of the the Big Dig along lower Princess Street, as well as the fall out created by the Confederation Place Hotel’s parking garage fiasco.  In addition, a handful of accidents and last week’s contraband-fueled police chase along Highway 401 have redirected excessive amounts of traffic through our fair city.  While all of these incidents have tested our collective patience, the mismanaged re-routing of 401 traffic through the freshly paved downtown core, and along the narrow LaSalle Causeway, has a lot of local road warriors honking the horn for change.  And I can’t say that I blame them.  For some unfortunate Kingstonians, it takes 2 to 3 hours to get from one end of the City to the other when re-routing is in effect.  Accordingly, this week’s poll question asks:

How can we improve the 401's Emergency Detour Route (EDR) in Kingston?

  • Start building a third crossing. (224%, 47 Votes)
  • Re-route excess traffic north of the City. (152%, 32 Votes)
  • The EDR will always be a problem. (100%, 21 Votes)
  • Create an inner-city expressway. (67%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 114

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Supporters of the third crossing initiative are using the recent vehicular congestion in Kingston to underscore the limitations of the LaSalle Causeway as well as the dire need for an alternative.  That said, would a third crossing over the Cataraqui River solve the road rage caused by mishaps on the 401, or would it simply relocate the chaos away from the downtown core?  Even with a well thought out and properly marked EDR, many commuters are going to try to find alternate routes, follow large transports supposedly in the know, and end up creating a messy situation in downtown Kingston.  Is there a solution here, or are we doomed to suffer whenever there’s a lane closure on the 401?

Special thanks to damozeljane for today’s photo of traffic, traveling at a turtle’s pace, along highway 401.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

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