Kingston installs a new 'AAA' intersection to improve accessibility
KINGSTON -- The City of Kingston is hoping a new kind of intersection will improve the city’s accessibility and promote cycling in the city.
The "AAA Intersection" is the first of its kind in Kingston. The AAA stands for “All Ages and Abilities”, according to Ian Semple, the director of transportation services.
It’s been installed at John Counter Blvd. and the Leroy Grant Multi-use Pathway, which is a 1.8 kilometre cycling and walkway path from Third Avenue to Elliot Avenue, through Champlain Park, and then on to John Counter Boulevard where it meets the AAA cycling intersection.
Semple says it is part of the city’s work to increase road safety, and make it more accessible through cycling.
"We’re designing and building projects that improve our roads, prioritize safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and give people more options to get around the city," Semple said in a statement.
Cyclists cross the intersection in their designated space, marked with green paint and bike symbols called "Crossrides." These Crossrides work like crosswalks do for pedestrians.
Cyclists can enter the Crossrides when the bike signal turns green, and stop when the light turns red.
Cyclist John Shields says he uses the road with his two daughters, and he feels the new lights and lines give confidence while cycling beside vehicles.
"It’s easy for use to get in that lane and go and feel much more comfortable," said Shields.
Ashley works in the area, and noticed the new changes immediately.
"I always walk from the bus, and I noticed the light that signals the bikers was new."
She says she feels more encouraged to try cycling with the new lanes.
"I think it will be easier because there’s a spot for the walkers and a spot for the bikers so we’re not, like, bumping into each other and stuff."
Kingscourt-Rideau district Councillor Mary Rita Holland says the intersection is meant to provide clarity.
"If you get a convergence of pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles at an intersection, often there’s a bit of confusion about right of way, and who’s progressing," explains Holland. "So in this case there will be signals. Just takes that guesswork out."
Holland says there will be three built along John Carpenter Blvd, as the city works to expand its cycling network, she did not give a timeline on when they will be opened.
The city is building a major third crossing, which will including cycling pathways, as well as the new Kingston Secondary School that is set to open soon.
"We really want to encourage less car dependency of course, but we really want to active routes to schools for students and we want also facilitate connectivity for cyclists who travel from various parts of the city," says Holland.
The city has released a video, explaining how the route works.