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Kingston Concerned About the LVEC
Currently known as the "KROCK Centre"
Formerly the "Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre" or KRSEC
Formerly the "Large Venue Entertainment Centre" or LVEC
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Analysis: Phase I - Traffic and Parking Viability Assessment Study (April, 2005)
UPDATE -- May 16 2005, Bruce Todd finds six new items, in addition to the 18 items listed lower down.

(1) CastleGlenn did not include pedestrians in their analysis of intersections during the post-event peak period. This is a MAJOR oversight.

(2) CastleGlenn told Councillors and the Steering Committee, answering a direct question from Councillor Beavis at the April 20 presentation at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, that the survey of available parking stalls was done on a Thursday and Friday night, between 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. I submit to you that a Thursday night survey period would not provide accurate pre-event data since OHL games are played mostly on a Friday night, and concerts are usually on Friday nights too. As well, CastleGlenn did not do parking availability surveys on weekdays in the late morning, or on Saturdays, when Trade Shows and other daytime events would be underway after 10:00 a.m.

(3) CastleGlenn did not take into consideration a concurrent event with the Grand Theatre. And note that very few Grand Theatre patrons use the Chown Garage which is adjacent to the Theatre, because of the time it takes to get out of the garage after an event.

(4) CastleGlenn did not go far enough in analyzing the post-game operations at many nearby intersections such as Wellington at Barrack, where Barrack Street is the through east-west street.

(5) I believe the strategy of coning lanes for several blocks around the LVEC site into three-lane segments is convoluted and potentially dangerous and confusing, especially at night, where traffic personnel would be standing among the cones directing traffic. Also motorists trying to line up and get into the proper lane of a three-lane exit from the Anglin Parking Lot during post-event time would be very difficult and frustrating for motorists to do.

(6) I am concerned with the reliability of the on-street non-metered parking availability data in the spill-over areas obtained by aerial photography; did the consultant take into account the parking prohibitions, obstacles, etc. It is not clear.

This is Bruce Todd's analysis of the Traffic and Parking Viability Assessment, submitted by CastleGlenn Consultants in April 2005.  This text was presented at the public meeting held April 25th 2005 at City Hall.

To city councillors, members of the Steering Committee, and the public

I have reviewed Phase I - Draft Parking and Traffic Study for the Kingston Large Venue Entertainment Centre, and I have found eighteen major errors and omissions in this report. Without correction and clarification of these major errors and omissions, it is my opinion that council members cannot make a thoroughly informed decision concerning acceptance of this report, nor can they have a clear understanding of the major impact that the LVEC will have on our downtown area.

The report uses a 600-metre and an 800-metre circle to describe two walking distances. But these circles are measured as the crow flies, and no one walks that way in a downtown. The 600-metre circle is actually 710 metres from the LVEC front door, and therefore includes an area forty percent larger than a true 600-metre circle. My measurements using a tru-meter show that there are only five parking lots within a 600-metre walking distance, Rideaucrest, Barrack, Frontenac north, Frontenac south, and Drury, for a total of 628 parking stalls if the lots were empty, not the 1132 claimed in the report.

The report fails to tell you that the North Block development will wipe out 461 parking spots, or all but one of the five parking lots just listed, leaving only one parking lot within 600 metres of the LVEC, that being Rideaucrest with 167 parking spots.

The report fails to mention that the 58-car Market Square lot will not be available in winter, and the 150 cars in Block D are being displaced, and the 228-car Anglin lot will be revamped for LVEC uses, and all these 436 cars will need to find parking in the existing system. This major change alone may force the city to build more parking using money it doesn't have, or force people further out of the downtown.

The report fails to use acceptable walking distances, typically found in traffic engineering manuals, and calculated over years of pedestrian observations. Instead, the authors pick a parking lot out of the hat, the Corel Centre, and use its dimensions to determine what is right for Kingston. This is beyond belief that a reputable traffic engineering consultant would do this. An acceptable walking distance for major sporting events, unadjusted for obstructions, etc., is 487 metres, not 600 metres.

The report fails not only to use the proper walking distance tables, but it fails to adjust these distances, as is stipulated in traffic engineering manuals, for such factors as size of the city, delays at intersections, hills, senior citizens and children, sidewalk width, weather conditions, etc. All these factors reduce the distance people are willing to walk. And do not confuse discretionary walking with compulsory walking such as to work.

The report fails to recognize the need for a guaranteed parking supply, and has included private parking lots in its total. Even the two traffic engineering firms, Giffels and I-Trans, who analyzed the parking needs for the ill-fated Kingston 2000 project for Block D, were savvy enough not to consider private parking lots when you need a guaranteed long-term supply of parking. Bear in mind that the city has now launched upon a program of infilling to satisfy the recommendations of the Urban Growth Strategy, and private parking lots are the first to disappear.

The report fails to examine the available parking supply except at only one time of the week, 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday or Friday night. This is a shallow look at the activity in our downtown. What about the availability of parking during the weekday, or on Saturdays? What about the report of the BA Group consultants in 2003 which describes the downtown core as bursting at the seams in the daytime? What about the concern of citizens on the downtown parking supply when they learned of a proposed apartment and office complex on Block D recently? What about the statement in the Business Plan that traffic in downtown Kingston in winter is only one-third the traffic in the summer? Why then should there not be a parking analysis covering the summer months when there is three times the traffic present as when this report examined conditions in downtown Kingston? What about a concurrent event at the Grand Theatre - where would those patrons park?

The report fails to present a worst-case traffic and parking scenario, which is standard practice in analyzing and understanding the impact on the downtown and on nearby residential streets. The report needs to provide information on conditions involving a 6800-seat sellout, regardless of how often this will occur, because this condition will increase in frequency over time if the venue is successful.

The report fails to give councillors a glimpse of what traffic and parking conditions will be like 10, 20, 30 years down the road. A rough estimate is simple enough to do. The Transportation Master Plan suggests a medium population growth of 1.12 percent or 1280 people per year, and a traffic growth rate of 1.3 percent per year. These figures indicate that the city will need an additional 25 new parking spots every year for the LVEC, if averages and predictions are reliable at all.

The report fails to tell you that, according to the Highway Traffic Act, only police officers have the power and authority to direct traffic on public roadways, and therefore, the use of up to twenty officers for every event is a hugely expensive project that never goes away.

The report fails to take into account the fact that, since transit has remained static at 3.8% over the last eight years, a worst-case scenario should be at least looked at.

The report fails to mention the need for a Noise Study to determine the effects of 22 busses at a time idling outside the LVEC and waiting for passengers.

The report fails to show an understanding of the difficulty of exiting our two parking garages, Hansen and Chown, which were never built to handle a mass exodus of vehicles, and in the case of the Chown garage, it would take about an hour and fifteen minutes for a full garage to clear.

The report fails to talk about the effects on other patrons to the downtown who wish to take in entertainment and shopping during an LVEC event.

The report fails to note the negative effect of bussing people to and from the site, since these people will not be stopping in the downtown and patronizing it.

The report fails to give an itemized and ballpark figure for the many improvements needed to provide new traffic signals, build new sidewalks, build half a mile of road to Cataraqui Street for emergency vehicles, add new street lighting, etc.

The report fails to advise that snowbanks in winter on residential streets can eliminate parking opportunities and therefore reduce the nearby parking supply.

The report fails to point out many adverse effects when dynamics are changed such as the 28 percent of patrons who now walk to an OHL game at the Memorial Centre, but who couldn't walk to the proposed LVEC. Would the new site attract as many walking trips?

To review this document and discover important details about further errors in the consultant's report, and about limited parking supplies in downtown Kingston, please visit www.kcal.ca.

Thank you

Bruce Todd
Kingston, Ontario