Safety survey results uncover student transportation patterns

Bike lanes are just one solution survey respondents see for the Union and University Street intersections. Seventy-seven per cent of the 1,535 respondents said they want to see bike lanes on University Avenue.

Last September, the University worked in partnership with the City of Kingston to undertake a safety audit of University Avenue and Union Street. The purpose of the audit was to address safety concerns of the two campus thoroughfares.

As part of this project, a web-based and on-site surveys were used to collect user feedback. In addition to the online surveys, 36 on-site surveys were conducted.

Jeanne Ma, director of campus planning and development said consideration for the nature of the area and those who frequent the intersection of University Avenue and Union Street is important.

“I think that when we look at a street that is used by the city and the campus community, there are many things that are important to consider,” she said. “Safety and history for one, as [the] setting of our campus and the need for keeping the street a very versatile space.”

Ma said the safety issue is difficult to assess because the street is busy, yet it’s hard to control pedestrians.

“We do have a large number of pedestrians and they tend not to always walk in predetermined patterns,” she said. “How do we calm the traffic so that these random interruptions between pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are as safe as possible?”

The audit was meant to be a voice for the students and the community and ensure that their opinions and ideas are taken seriously, Ma said.

The survey indicated that the dominant mode of transportation on campus is walking. More than 90 per cent of the surveyed population reported to frequently walking on campus, followed by cycling, using cars and busing.

The next public meeting to be held by Campus Planning and Development will take place on March 2. At this meeting, traffic consultants hired to help with the audit will display the preferred concepts of the Union Street Project.

“It is an opportunity for people to see what is presented and interact with designers and raise questions that the designers can respond to,” Ma said.

Concerns about the Union Street project had previously been raised when plans for the Barrie and University Streets showed the possibility of demolishing The Grad Club.

Regarding the concern expressed regarding a possible demolition of The Grad Club, Ma said that while she can’t confirm that the campus bar won’t be touched, she is confident that public opinion on this issue will be taken seriously.

“All the elaborate gateway features proposed that may have needed the corner of The Grad Club, in my recollection, did not receive much public support,” she said.

Road Safety Survey Results

• 68 per cent favoured an extension of the existing bike lanes on Union Street
• 65 per cent and 69 per cent of respondents indicated they would like to see marked crosswalks along University and
Union, respectively.

--Source: Union Street Safety Audit

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