It is noticeable Kingston endures mass road construction throughout the summer months that offer obstacles for drivers, causing quite the ruffle in our busy downtown turmoil. Personally, the road blocks haven’t affected me nearly as much as a particular downtown intersection that practically begs for attention due to the hazard it presents to drivers daily. Cataraqui Street and Rideau Street.
The Cataraqui St./Rideau St. intersection is arguably a collision waiting to happen. Cataraqui St., perhaps one of Kingston’s shortest streets, is home to the historic Woolen Mill that houses no other than The Kingston Whig Standard but also dozens upon dozens of workers of various companies housed in the mill. Wrapped along Cataraqui River’s edge features our waterfront restaurant The River Mill, and along the rear side of the building is The Boiler Room – Kingston’s go-to climbing gym and hit-spot for kids to spend their summers.
Needless to say a lot of people are traveling back and forth daily and a risky corner is unsafe.
When pulling out of Cataraqui St., it is difficult to see the ongoing traffic North down Rideau St. – in fact it is nearly impossible to see unless you inch past the Stop sign into potential oncoming traffic. As the nine-to-fivers begin to roll in, it becomes a danger zone. As you could imagine, this corner becomes even more dangerous when the roads become wet and/or icy.
I speak from experience as I have an office in the Woolen Mill and often find myself stretching my neck past the steering wheel to try, reaching for a glimpse of a vehicle around the corner. I feel very unsafe every time I cross the intersection because I know ongoing traffic can’t see me until I am in front of them – and I can’t see them until they are in front of me.
A few years ago, Rideau St. had a facelift – literally – and had speed bumps constructed to slow down traffic. Unfortunately, the speed bumps tend not to slow down vehicles as they approach the Cataraqui St. intersection. Perhaps a way to solve this problem, I will argue it has not and this corner is in need of serious attention before a nasty accident is the result. I am sure my fellow nine-to-fivers leaving The Woolen Mill on a daily basis will agree.
The most logical step would be to get a stoplight – it is an active intersection on a street lined with homes and businesses and further safety measures should be considered.
What do you think of this intersection? Are there others in Kingston you think need attention?
Comment below with your thoughts.