Update (Wednesday, May 3, 2023):
Kingston Pride has now publicly addressed the removal of the courtesy crosswalk outside City Hall, which has been painted with rainbow stripes during Pride Month for several years.
Noting the “discourse surrounding the courtesy crosswalk in front of City Hall being removed,” Kingston Pride provided the “facts” on the situatution via its social media accounts.
“Kingston Pride, Reelout, and other queer community groups have already been in talks with the city to move the annual Pride crosswalk that would usually have been in front of City Hall. This will be announced shortly,” stated the local not-for-profit, which is dedicated to LGBTQ+ inclusion and awareness in Kingston.
“These same groups are in discussion to put in a permanent, year-long crosswalk nearby. Community feedback will be requested soon,” the group continued on the social media communication, published at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the day after the City of Kingston announced the removal of the courtesy crosswalk that spans Ontario Street between City Hall and Confederation Park.
“Sometimes construction and safety are real things that are issues. Not everything is an attack,” Kingston Pride expressed.
Original article (Tuesday, May 2, 2023):
The painted courtesy crosswalk outside City Hall on Ontario Street will be removed this month, according to the City of Kingston.
The removal is “to improve pedestrian safety,” the City noted in a media release dated Tuesday, May 2, 2023, and the work is expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, to coincide with broader road repairs and underground work taking place.
“It’s being done at this time to make more efficient use of construction resources,” the City said.
Courtesy crossings are not a recognized type of pedestrian crossing under the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario and do not conform to the City’s standards for pedestrian crossings, which were put in place in 2021 to enhance pedestrian safety, according to the City.
“Vehicles are not required to stop at a courtesy crossing and the ladder marking on the roadway could create confusion for pedestrians using it,” the media release reads.
“Pedestrians will still have the option to cross the road at this location. However, as with other mid-block uncontrolled crossings, pedestrians are required to look and ensure the crossing can be made safely. A controlled crossing with signals also remains available at Ontario and Clarence Street.”
Removal of the courtesy crosswalk will not impact any on-street parking or accessible access, the City said. While the markings will be removed, the curb bulb-out and ramped areas will remain in place, according to the release.
Since 2018, this crossing was painted in the colours of the progress pride flag during the month of June, in recognition of pride month and Kingston’s 2SLGBTQ+ community. According to the release, City staff are reaching out to the 2SLGBTQ+ community through “focused conversations to seek input regarding potential alternate locations for a painted crosswalk or other possible forms of recognition for pride month this year as well as future, more permanent recognitions.”