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City to end parking along road in City Park

Drivers who currently use the unpaved ‘ring road’ within City Park will have to find a new place to leave their vehicles after Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, when the city plans to shut down the road for parking.

A number of vehicles parked along the ‘ring road’ within City Park on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. The parking has been free ‘for park users,’ but the park was mostly empty following a storm. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

In a report being presented to Council on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, City Staff are citing damage to the road over several years, and the city’s climate emergency declaration and strategic priority to enhance green spaces, as the reasons for the permanent closure.

“It’s beyond repair in some cases and [it] would require significant investment just to maintain what we’ve got now, and we’ve got lots of other lots and on-street options for people who want to use their vehicles to get to City Park,” said Luke Follwell, the Director of Engineering Services for the City, adding an emphasis that residents can still use active transportation and Kingston Transit to get to the park.

The ring road within the park has been a location for people to leave their vehicles while using the park, but has also been used as an access road during events, such as ArtFest, which takes place every July. The report details that it is difficult to enforce the parking limitation to users, notably during peak use times during the summer.

Some of the potholes along the ring road in City Park are 10-15cm deep. Photo by Tommy Vallier

Follwell noted that, in closing the road to vehicular traffic, events could actually see an increase in size, as there would be additional space for vendors and stalls to set up within the park. The city has been working with events in the past year on shuttle services, as well.

Staff aren’t recommending that the new pathway, which will be permanently installed through the winter and into the spring, be paved. Instead, the center of the existing road will be repaired, with the entire path being narrowed. Vehicular access will be stopped by concrete bollards for the winter, with more appropriate entrances installed in the spring.

Currently, the road also acts as overflow parking for those with Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, who display tags in the windows to indicate their use of the space.

“We’ve already expanded the areas available to [Cancer Centre visitors] to include Barrie Street and King Street at the south end of the park,” said Ian Semple, Director of Transportation Services with the City. These expanded options are in addition to the Richardson and Waterfront lots in MacDonald Park, and the expansion of spaces covered by Honk Mobile earlier this year.

The city plans to promote the changes to the park alongside other active transportation options and further promotion of the existing Transpass program in hopes to encourage more users who use the park to bus into the area.

A tree sits fallen following a storm inside a mostly-empty City Park. Parking has been free for park users – but 50 vehicles were parked despite the empty park on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

In addition to the changes to the ring road, municipal staff will be looking at a review of Bagot Street and Court Street to find additional on-street metered options, as well as locations for new accessible parking. That report is expected in early 2020.

The report, which is being provided for Council’s information of a Staff decision, is included in the agenda for their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

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7 thoughts on “City to end parking along road in City Park

  • November 1, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    the pot holes on the ring road are no different than the ones on the city streets

  • November 2, 2019 at 9:29 am
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    Pave the roadway in the park
    Put meters on the southside of roadway
    Mark it one way
    Entering only from the Barrie at Staurt st. SIDE
    AND EXIT on the West st side

  • November 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm
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    Typical Kingston. There are not enough of parking as it is around the KGH and Queen’s. And what parking there is there, they rip people off with Toronto style parking rates. It is a Regional Hospital, meaning that many people have to drive from outside the area to attend appointments etc. Not to mention the number of people who work at KGH and Queen’s. If anything, there should be more parking available in the area. Keep up the “great” work!

  • November 3, 2019 at 8:22 am
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    Road unrepairable in some areas
    It’s gravel, use a grader to smooth it and a roller to pack it… you know like they do on the rest of the cities gravel roads.
    Corruption Of Kingston just seems to be mad that their missing out on getting their mits on more of people’s money.

  • November 4, 2019 at 12:07 am
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    Well we’ll never be visiting this park now. Our councillor Peter Stroud thinks all families only own bicycles and can get 4 kids to activities in three parts of the city on the same night by bicycle and bus lol. We used to drive to the park between our busy schedules to play and be together but with no easy access, forget it.

  • November 6, 2019 at 11:41 am
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    Glad to see this! I work in the area, and I’m pretty sure most of the vehicles parking there are Queen’s employees who don’t want to feed the meters all day. I’ve wondered for years how those lucky individuals were able to score “free” parking in City Park — but now I know, they were just helping themselves to the public space.

  • November 8, 2019 at 7:21 am
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    Thank you! It’s about time, too many staff were using this park for free parking. No park users could use it as it was full during the weekdays. Signs were very clear that to park here you needed to be *IN* the park. Too many abused it, now it’s being taken away. Like so many things, a few rotten apples spoil the barrel. And now I see those rotten apples whining here. Well, too bad, rotten apples! Pay for parking like the rest of us.

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