Kingston seniors group rallying for bus stop closer to home
When old man winter hits, 85-year-old Jim Armstrong says it’s almost impossible to walk to his local bus stop.
Armstrong lives on Barrett Court, in Kingston’s east end. For the last year and a half, Armstrong, along with members of the “Barrett Court Committee for Buses” have been pushing for a bus stop in the cul-de-sac.
“A lot of people in these buildings are seniors and the bus stop from here is approximately 450 metres which is a long walk for anyone and a long walk for seniors, especially in the winter because of the snow and the ice,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong admits the city has improved snow removal in the area but in his opinion, it’s still too dangerous for seniors to walk to the current bus stop on Highway 15. The 85-year-old uses a cane and physically can’t make the trek.
He says Wednesday’s winter wallop is why the committee is pushing for a new bus stop. Armstrong says when snow and ice fall, people avoid using icy sidewalks and walk on the road. They then have to cross a busy Highway 15 to catch the bus.
The “Barrett Court Committee for Buses” has been in talks with Kingston Transit, Coun. Ryan Boehme, as well as Homestead Landholdings.
Armstrong says they’ve come up with a solution to the problem which includes expanding the turnaround at the end of the court.
The land belongs to Homestead but Armstrong says it’s willing to donate the land to the city for the project, but adds, the city will have to foot the bill for the construction. And once that’s done, a bus stop could be placed somewhere in the cul-de-sac.
Kingston Transit isn’t saying no to the idea, but it could be some time before the project is added to its capital budget. The earliest it would even be considered is 2020 or 2021.
In a statement, Kingston Transit says: “The turnaround at the end of Barrett Court is not designed to accommodate Kingston Transit buses. The cost to modify the turnaround is estimated at $40,000. There is currently no capital budget allocated or plan to undertake this work.”
But in the meantime, Kingston Transit will be installing two benches on Barrett Court so people who need to rest during the walk can do so. The city has also replaced the pedestrian push buttons at Barrett Court/Highway 15 with new touch-activated push pedestrian buttons.
And while Armstrong is pleased to hear about the new changes, he says the seniors in the area don’t want to wait until 2020 for a new bus stop.
“We’d really like it this fall.”
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