On Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2020, Kingston City Council held meeting 19-2020 (agenda) in its electronic format again, where they moved towards the implementation of a ‘quiet streets’ project and removed emergency powers granted to staff during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council discussed the removal of the delegated authority it had provided to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Lanie Hurdle, during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting in the report that the additional authority was no longer needed in Stage 2 of the reopening plan. Council had significant debate about some of the power use, notably the timing and process surrounding the upcoming road and lane closures in the downtown core for the ‘Love Kingston Marketplace’ and, for a brief while, discussed delaying that implementation, though no motion to that extent was formally tabled. Council also briefly discussed the possibility of lifting the declared State of Emergency in the city as well, and removing the powers granted to the Mayor and CAO under that declaration, but again, chose not to table that motion. While any of the CAO’s decisions made with this additional authority will remain in effect, council voted unanimously to remove this additional authority.
Council also looked at the implementation of a “quiet streets” pilot program, which will work alongside the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation (KCAT) for implementation. Under the pilot, KCAT will be responsible for submitting applications of streets that would benefit from “signage, temporary fixtures, and by limiting vehicles to local traffic only,” as well as demonstrating “appropriate consultation with impacted residents,” though the motion stopped short of specifying details. In short, the project aims to increase pedestrian and cycling safely, particularly in response to the need for outdoor space for physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Council unanimously approved the project, which will end no later than November 13, 2020.
In addition, Council approved a five-year winter maintenance contract for sidewalks and bus stops, approved a $50,000 contribution to the Kingston Theatre Alliance for the Kick & Push Festival, renewed its contract for mapping data, and renewed a lease with the Boy Scouts for its use of the building on the north end of Macdonnell Street.
Among others, there are meetings of Heritage Kingston, the police and library Boards and the Planning Committee before council next meets for a Special Meeting on Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2020. The next regularly scheduled meeting of council is Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020.
Born and raised in Kingston, Tommy Vallier bleeds limestone. An avid council watcher since 2004, he first began reporting on municipal affairs in 2011, helping to modernize meetings and make them more accessible through social media and live video. When he isn’t focused on City Hall, he’s an avid gamer, theatre supporter, and Disney fan.