Proposed road safety enhancements to come before Kingston City Council

A number of streets throughout Kingston will see posted speed reductions, should City Council pass the recommended ‘road safety enhancements’ at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2023. Photo by Phillip Stafford/Kingstonist.

At its Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2023 meeting, City Council will hear several traffic recommendations for “road safety enhancements,” which may change how Kingstonians navigate the City.

According to a report by Brad Joyce, Commissioner of Transportation and Public Works, which was released in advance of Council’s upcoming meeting, the City completes assessments to evaluate and monitor a wide variety of road safety concerns and operational issues on an ongoing basis. This includes regularly reviewing parking regulations and undertaking intersection assessments to ensure appropriate traffic control measures are in place.

Beyond recommending road safety enhancements at various locations — including posted speed limit reductions, U-turn prohibitions at two locations, and right-turn-on-red prohibitions at two intersection pedestrian signals — the report also recommends adding and changing parking regulations to address safety and traffic flow issues on streets, including in school zones, and to optimize the on-street parking supply. 

School areas

The proposed changes include a series of amendments to Parking By-Law Number 2010-128 to further improve safety in the area of certain local schools: 

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School 

  • Relocate and extend the length of a school bus loading zone along Cranbrook Street to improve access for school buses transporting special needs students. 
  • Replace a No Parking zone with a No Stopping Anytime zone to better maintain sightlines for school buses exiting the school parking lot. 

St. Paul Catholic School and Lord Strathcona Public School

As part of a broader capital project that includes a new sidewalk, road rehabilitation, and traffic calming along McMahon Avenue, staff are recommending a number of parking regulation changes to align with the future build-out along the frontage of the schools. These include: 

  • Converting No Parking zones to No Stopping zones.
  • Converting No Stopping School Days Only zones to No Stopping Anytime zones to maintain traffic flow at all times through road segments narrowed by the construction of new curb extensions. 

Winston Churchill Public School 

  • Convert restricted parking times on the north side of Earl Street east of MacDonnell Street to No Stopping On School Days to deter student drop-off and pick-up activity on the side of the street opposite the school.
  • Convert the No Parking zones on the north side of Earl Street at the intersection with Toronto Street to No Stopping to further ensure sightlines are maintained. 

École Secondaire Catholique Marie-Rivier and École Secondaire Publique Mille Îles (new locations in the West Village subdivision)

  • Add school bus loading zones:
    • on the east side of Demers Avenue north of Wheathill Street 
    • on the north side of Wheathill Street south of Demers Avenue
  • Implement No Stopping On School Days opposite the frontage of the school on the west side of Demers Avenue and the south side of Wheathill Street.
  • Implement No Stopping Anytime at setbacks from intersections on the east and west sides of Demers Avenue and the south side of Wheathill Street. 

St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School

  • Extend the length of one of the existing school bus loading zones on the south side of Lancaster Drive along the frontage of St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School to accommodate an additional school bus.
  • Extend the length of one of the existing school bus loading zones on the south side of Lancaster Drive along the frontage of St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School to accommodate an additional school bus.
Road safety in areas surrounding schools is among the priorities of the recommended ‘road safety enhancements’ Kingston City Council will vote on at their July 11, 2023, meeting. Photo by Phillip Stafford/Kingstonist.

Residential streets

Brackenwood Crescent

  • Implement No Parking Anytime on one side of Brackenwood Crescent along the entire length of the street to maintain vehicular access, including for school buses, and to protect sightlines on the several bends in the roadway. The side of the street without a public sidewalk is proposed to be designated as No Parking to allow for parkers to access the sidewalk without having to cross the roadway, including when dropping off and picking up children attending the nearby elementary school.

Henderson Boulevard

  • Implement No Stopping Anytime on both sides of the block of Henderson Boulevard between McEwen Drive and Lakeview Avenue to deter vehicles from parking in this location to drop off and pick up children at a daycare centre. The travel lane is not wide enough to accommodate a parked vehicle without impeding traffic flow. Vehicles are consequently parking partially over the barrier curb and damaging the grass boulevard between the roadway and the new multi-use pathway.

Wise Street

  • Implement No Parking on the west side of a north-south segment of Wise Street from Woodbine Road to the bend in the roadway. The planned installation of a curb-facing sidewalk will eliminate the west shoulder parking lane through this section of roadway. Parking will be prohibited around the inner bend of the roadway as well, through an existing clause in the Parking By-Law.

Traffic By-Law amendments

Speed Limit reductions – School areas

Staff are recommending speed limit reductions along school frontages and within school areas to help establish more consistent expectations for driver behaviour where higher volumes of vulnerable road users are present. These speed limit reductions will complement the introduction of Community Safety Zones, which serve to increase the fines for traffic violations (including speeding violations) as they continue to be implemented across the City.

The proposed speed limit changes within the corresponding school areas are listed below:

  • École élémentaire publique Madeleine-de-Roybon
    • Gilmour Avenue – 40 km/hr
  • École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier/École secondaire publique Mille-Îles
    • Demers Avenue (100 metres south of Taylor-Kidd Boulevard to 100 metres south of Wheathill Street) – 40 km/hr
    • Wheathill Street (Ashford Place to Demers Avenue) – 40 km/hr
  • Glenburnie Public School
    • Unity Road (Battersea Road to the eastern end of Unity Road) – 40 km/hr
  • Leahurst College
    • Cataraqui Street (Rideau Street to east end of Cataraqui Street) – 40 km/hr
  • Mulberry Waldorf School
    • John Street (Patrick Street to Montreal Street) – 40 km/hr
    • Markland Street (Patrick Street to Montreal Street) – 40 km/hr
  • Quintilian School
    • Baiden Street (Mowat Avenue to McDonald Avenue) – 40 km/hr
  • Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School
    • Cowdy Street (Stephen Street to Russell Street) – 40 km/hr
    • Russell Street (Division Street to Cowdy Street) – 40 km/hr

Right-Turn-on-Red prohibitions

The City has received concerns regarding motorists turning right on a red light at two Intersection Pedestrian Signal locations: Weller Avenue at Wiley Street and Taylor-Kidd Boulevard at Pembridge Crescent.

Staff have conducted a review of the intersections and have identified instances of motorists attempting to make a right-turn-on-red movement from Weller Avenue onto Wiley Street and from Taylor-Kidd Boulevard onto Pembridge Crescent, heading towards the schools in each area. These turning movements, some of which have been observed to occur when pedestrians are actively crossing with a school crossing guard present, pose a potential safety issue for students.

To more effectively mitigate conflicts with turning vehicles, staff recommend prohibiting eastbound right-turn-on-red movements from Weller Avenue onto Wiley Street, and westbound right-turn-on-red movements from Taylor-Kidd Boulevard onto Pembridge Crescent. The proposed change is intended to reinforce pedestrian priority and safety at the intersection.

U-turn prohibitions

Staff have received concerns regarding U-turn movements that are taking place at two intersections along Princess Street:

  • Princess Street at Taylor-Kidd Boulevard/John Counter Boulevard, travelling east and west
  • Princess Street at Bayridge Drive, travelling west

Staff have reviewed the U-turn movements identified above and are recommending the prohibition of these movements, as they conflict with existing right-turn advance signals that activate during the left-turn phases from Princess Street at both locations, during which U-turns may be occurring.

According to the Commissioner’s report, all of these recommended updates align with reccomendations by the School Pedestrian Safety Working Group referenced in Report Number EITP-22-004 and the countermeasures and emphasis areas identified in the City’s Road Safety Plan. The report requests that the amending bylaws be presented for all three readings to allow the signage associated with the proposed regulations to be installed as soon as possible.

The meeting of City Council begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Kingston City Hall. Meetings are open to the public, and can be streamed live (or viewed after) on the Kingston City Council YouTube page.

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