Quiet Streets aims to provide more space for Kingston pedestrians, cyclists during pandemic

Click to play video: 'Quiet Streets pilot project underway in Kingston' Quiet Streets pilot project underway in Kingston
WATCH: The project is aimed at providing safer road space for pedestrians and cyclists to move in the city during the pandemic. – Oct 5, 2020

A number of streets in the central part of Kingston have been designated as quiet streets in the municipality.

Quiet Streets is a pilot project approved by Kingston city council but it’s the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation that is in charge of designing and implementing the pilot.

Bruce Bursey is KCAT’s project manager says the aim is to provide space for residents to physically distance, exercise and travel through the city.

“It provides an opportunity for people to get out, exercise, walk, roll, on rollerblades, on wheelchairs, and to feel safe,” Bursey said.

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Signs are set up along intersections of less busy roadways like Mack, Clergy, Frontenac and Earl streets.

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The signs are posted to let motorists know they will be sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists.

The patchwork of quiet streets link with existing trail systems and park pathways, allowing people to make their way from the central parts of the city to the downtown area.

“Polson Park is now technically connected to downtown.” says Bursey.

Polson Park is about four km away from the downtown core.

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Rik Saaltink lives in the Polson Park area and says he’s enjoyed using the designated quiet streets to get around.

“You’re on the street, you’re more relaxed, if the sidewalk’s getting crowded you just step off and walk down the street.”

Elise Laende says she’s been using the quiet streets almost daily since the pilot project got underway at the end of August.

She says she bikes with her daughter to and from daycare.

“What would have been nice from my perspective is if their could be a gap on this side,” says Leande indicating how the signs lined next to the sidewalks don’t allow for a bike lane. “So it would be possible to cycle straight through, so I’m not coming head-to-head with cars.”

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Bursey says they are actively collecting responses in two surveys with the help of Queen’s University.

“One is a survey for users and one for residences.”

The survey for users is on the coalitions’ web site.

Bursey says they will present the survey results to city council after the Quiet Streets pilot project comes to an end November 13.


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