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Downtown transformation starts next week

The pedestrian street map for the Love Kingston Marketplace. Map via City of Kingston.

The City has released details of the plan to reimagine downtown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed “Love Kingston Marketplace,” the redesign will restrict vehicle access in order to create more room for social distancing at outdoor retail, restaurants and pedestrian spaces.

“Residents and businesses can expect to see several changes downtown as crews prepare the reimagined space,” said a release from the City of Kingston on Friday morning.

Vehicle lanes and parking spaces

The city will start by setting up new designated pickup and delivery areas through the downtown early next week, in advance of lane and parking area closures. Signage will be installed to indicate these areas.

Changes to vehicle lanes and parking spaces will start overnight on Wednesday, Jun. 24 and continue into Thursday, Jun. 25, 2020. Signage will be posted in advance to indicate temporary ‘No Parking’ restrictions for Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., to allow crews to install traffic control measures.

Once the changes are in place, on Princess Street, vehicle traffic will be reduced to a single lane from Ontario Street to Division Street. Cross streets will remain open. On-street parking will be unavailable, except for new designated pick-up and delivery spaces on each block.

On Brock Street, vehicle traffic will be reduced to a single lane from Ontario Street to Wellington Street. Cross streets will remain open. On-street parking will be unavailable, except for new designated pick-up and delivery spaces.

On Clarence Street, existing on-street parking will be repurposed to accommodate a lane shift. Market Street will be completely closed to vehicles, and on-street parking will be unavailable. On cross streets, some on-street parking will be repurposed to give businesses a greater outdoor footprint, as well as to create short-term pickup and delivery areas. The city said other lay-by spaces will become available to businesses for outdoor expansion during the week of Monday, Jun. 29, 2020.

The City also plans to test lane and road closures on Ontario Street between Johnson Street and Clarence Street in the coming weeks.

“The testing of these closures and feedback from the businesses and residents will inform how this section of Ontario Street is utilized over the coming months,” the City said in a statment.

Public washrooms

The city has announced that public washrooms under City Hall will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning Saturday, Jun. 20, 2020.

Patios

The City announced a decision to waive both the notice period and final Council approval usually required for restaurants to add or expand patios on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The City also announced they are also waiving patio permit fees for 2020.

For information on the City’s streamlined patio permit application process, and to apply for your business, please email [email protected]. Downtown businesses that have already been in contact with City staff about requests for a patio or outdoor space, including through the BIA survey, do not need to submit another email inquiry and will be contacted by City staff with further information.

Waste collection

There will be no impact to waste collection next week. The city advises residents to set out garbage, Green Bin and recycling out for collection at the curb as usual after 5 p.m. on Monday night and before 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Once the closures are in place, additional updates about waste collection for residents, businesses, and contractors can be found online by visiting the Love Kingston Marketplace resource page.

Accessible parking

Some accessible parking spaces will be temporarily relocated as a result of the parking and lane closures. The new accessible spaces will be put into place early next week in advance of the closures. Residents can find the updated accessible downtown parking map online by visiting the Love Kingston Marketplace resource page.

Contact the City for further information

Downtown residents and businesses with questions about these closures of travel lanes and parking areas may access the Love Kingston Marketplace resource page, contact Customer Service at 613-546-0000 or email [email protected]

The City reminds residents that physical distancing remains essential as the local economy reopens.

“We all have a part to play as we move forward with Province of Ontario’s Stage 2 Framework for Reopening,” said the city’s statement.

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Samantha Butler-Hassan

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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