City council meeting – March 24, 2015
It was a very long meeting with a crowded agenda… Whom do we blame for putting all the important stuff- Transportation Master Plan update, Employment Lands AND the Wellington Street extension on the same agenda? The mayor? The CAO? Whomever, it probably won’t happen again! And it had better not as the meeting concluded a few minutes after midnight.
Those items that were not deferred – The Kingston East Community Centres and the Exchange of lands regarding the Outer Station. The Wellington St. extension, employment lands and the Transportation Master Plan were deferred. There were also several presenters in favour- one opposed to the WSE, although the BIA did say that they would support any alternative to the WSE that guaranteed ingress and egress to the CBD. More later on this you can be sure.
The Outer Station- is soon to be ‘inner’. As the proposal by the developer to move the station to a position near the North St. Building – being renovated seemed too good to be true. The debate was essentially ‘what constitutes heritage?’ Was or IS heritage repairing the station in situ? Or repairing it and moving it? Moving it won.
A very good report on the Transportation Master Plan- reaffirming the importance of cycling and walking, over the car. The increase in funding would be required to take the buses from their current 9% to 15% of total traffic. This is probably not supported by the suburbs who are car dependant but they did not get their act together to overturn it.
The report of the CAO on the WSE is very long and concludes with a request that the Environmental Assessment on the route be redone. The report itself (of the CAO) is quite negative to the cancellation of the WSE, noting how deeply it is entrenched in the planning of the City and ends with a recommendation that the Environmental Assessment be re-done. Such an EA would examine the alternatives to the WSE. I think that this will be a focal point in the discussions on City Priorities next week. Jason will report on priorities.