City regrets not consulting cyclists before creating bike lanes on unridable streets.

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After the much publicized removal of parking from arterial Brock and Johnson streets, city traffic engineers are backpeddling their expectations after finding out that cyclists have no intention of using their newly minted lanes. Local officials admitted that, while hindsight is 20/20, most bicycles don’t have rear-view mirrors at all.

“I guess it’s a problem of tabletop implementation,” admitted one source. “Everyone sitting around the table came up with this huge list of benefits and advantages that it would bring, so we just rolled with it.”

However, their planning failed to address one critical point. “We never asked anyone who actually cycles in the city whether it was worthwhile,” he admitted. “Once we started the process, we got feedback about how pointless it would be, and that got us worried.”

Local cyclists have admitted that the move will make little difference in their daily commutes.

“I guess it’s good to be bike friendly,” acknowledged one peddler “but I’m sure as hell not going to ride on that road. Even before you start looking at the bad pavement, potholes, uneven drainage grates, and awkward sightlines, the scariest part of the whole thing is still the way people drive along that road. Why would I put myself in that position when there are completely viable and safer alternatives?”

These concerns were echoed by other saddle-seaters.

“Why would I ride along Johnson and risk my neck, when I could go one block over to Earl street? There are lots of stop signs, minimal traffic, wide roads, and no lights. It just doesn’t make sense!”

Although sparking controversy, the eternally optimistic tourism industry believes this could be a big benefit.

“People from out of town will love it,” They beamed. “If they don’t know what dangers they’re facing, it will make for an adventure they’ll never forget. Soon we could be a hugely exciting extreme sports destination in the region!”

Local real estate agent shocked to discover they are polling third in MPP elections.

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As election road signs sprout like late-blooming perennials, one local agent has seen their ‘For Sale’ signs generating an unusual response in the local electorate.

“I guess any press is good press,” laughed the agent. “But I’ll be damned if I’d know what to do if they elected me.”

Indeed, the most recent poll of local voters had the agent running a strong third behind the two frontrunners whose parties are locked in a province-wide battle. This number is even more shocking given that, in every case, his name would have to have been essentially “written in” as a response.

When questioned about their choice, most respondents seemed to think that the signs featuring his face and picture were done at a much higher quality than traditionally cheap and disposable signs, and their placement throughout the city was much more organic than the “spamlike” ways of the current contenders.

“It just seems confident, understated, and refined,” explained a resident who had been polled. “Just the kinds of things you’d want to see in leadership. The last thing I want is someone who’s all ‘me me me, look at me!’ and throwing all their money away on landfill. This guy has nice wooden poles, holding up colour printed signs. They are a feature in the landscape, not an eyesore.”

Other candidates were quick to dismiss his candidacy, saying that it was nothing more than a novelty. However, some of the smaller parties have admitted to reaching out for advice on how to generate such grass-roots interest.

Citizens begin seasonal transition from not going downtown, to avoiding downtown.

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As an unusually long and aggravating winter season finally eases its headlock on the region, many residents are finally able to change the reasons for staying away from the downtown core.

Throughout the winter, piles of snow, ice, and slush remained present and made both driving and walking conditions enough to keep many locals confined to the safely plowed suburban box stores and away from the urban core. Most traffic through the region was commuter, and those who did come into the close-packed downtown streets did so with great purpose, or at least begrudgingly.

Similarly, downtown summers are filled with enough vacationing families, school groups, road-closing festivals, and road trippers for locals to write it off as frustratingly busy enough to warrant complete avoidance.

Normally this transition from winter snowbanks and ice sheets into the summer influx of out-of-towners and bus tourists happens gradually with warmer weather. However this season they are happening nearly simultaneously due to the extended cold weather which persisted well into spring.

Those who live and work the area admit that this year is a strange one, with unique situations occurring throughout. Some even report rare sightings of tour busses and snow banks side-by-side, despite traditionally animosity. These natives of downtown life maintain that nature should be allowed to run it’s course.

“All things move in cycles,” explained one urbanite. “We must allow ourselves to be moved with them, and to live with what comes.”

“The students go, and the tourists come. The tourists leave, and the students return. Every year, this great migration changes our landscape and moulds our community, and we have learned the ways in which we can live within these fluctuations.” He continued to explain.

 

Furniture resellers scramble as local couch values plummet

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As the traditionally hectic season of student exodus reaches peak traffic, furniture values throughout the city are plummeting at a record rate.

“Even though we expect it at this time of year, the pace of devaluation today is staggering,” explained a local furniture day-trader. “By the time we opened, the weekend Kijiji numbers had already forced full couch prices down into the low hundreds. What’s worse is that there seems to be a huge amount of panic in the market, which will make things volatile.”

Indeed, the late arrival of spring this year meant that many couches which may have transitioned into being lawn couches, and subsequently landfill, have instead stayed inside, keeping their value and ripening for the moving season. However this widespread availability has caused an overall drop in the market value per piece.

“It’s like, supply and demand, brah.” explained a first-year economics student who paused his front-lawn beer pong game when asked for comment. “there’s like, everyone has all these couches they need to sell, but like since everyone is… uhh… selling already, then it’s like whoever is the lowest is gonna sell first right?”

Indeed this race to the bottom has seen some owners resorting to junking their investments, and listing the couches for the cost of transportation, or free if picked up. Even traditional last resorts of disposal including the salvation army, where one can at least recoup some good will, are turning these toxic assets away.

“Everyone’s trying to bail out in the middle of the meltdown,” explains the trader. “Those of us playing the long game have seen this before, so we’re out scouring the ads, looking for under-valued stuff that we can pick up and hold onto for a while. Come fall, a lot of this stuff will appreciate considerably, but you’ve got to be able to ride it for a while.”

It remains to be seen if playing the furniture market can be sustainable long-term, but the emergence of these kinds of industries in the city make it seem that, for now, they can become a sound investment.

City traffic engineers giddy as core asphyxiation nears completion.

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From a darkened control room within the depths of a municipal office, the traffic engineers for the City of Kingston have been carefully tracking their controlled choking of downtown traffic.

“It started as a brainstorm,” admits one employee, his face lit only in the blue-grey light of a computer screen. “We thought the potholes would be enough to make people go crazy, but they are more resilient than we imagined. We started thinking of other ways to demonstrate our powers, and this was what we came up with as a solution.”

Indeed their approach seems well thought out, as parts of the plan can be tracked back to previous years, and groundwork has been ongoing to ignite the “perfect storm” of road closures.

Beginning last year with the closure of Palace road, crews worked to the very end of fall with hastily laid pavement coming just before winter snows descended in October. This rushed patchwork, now being torn up and further worked on, forms the first prong of their attack.

The second, and most arterial, is the closure of Princess street through much of the Williamsville district, in an area inarguably in need of remedial repairs.

“That was the linchpin to the whole deal,” explains the mastermind of the plan. “Once you close the main artery, everything else falls into place. A few more tweaks, and you can cause some real damage with very little effort.”

Secondary tweaks, aside from the aforementioned construction, include the addition of a stop light on Concession street at MacDonnell, making an already over-taxed one lane road more obstructive. Further tightening the collar is the reduction of Johnson, previously a downtown-bound artery, from two full lanes to one, and the reduction of the re-opened lanes to nearly undrivable dips and holes.

“After that, it all came together,” offers the madman who conceived of the plan. “We managed to take five lanes, and reduce them to two without anyone batting an eye. It was almost as though people didn’t have any clue what we were doing, and by the time we were there they couldn’t stop it.”

When pressed to answer whether or not there were subsequent stages to the plan, only vague allusions could be produced.

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t comment on that,” he mused. “But wouldn’t it be a shame if, for instance, we had a water main break? Or some tree limbs fall on a power line? Goodness, what if there were a gas leak that closed off an entire block? Wouldn’t that be just crippling?

With an unsettling grin, he continued to say with a wink and a nod that “we are confident that our current situation is stable, and suitable for the needs of the city. We hope that construction will finish ahead of schedule, and we’ll be able to return to normal as soon as possible.”

Nanny state prevents students from strengthening gene pool

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In another example of state intrusion into the activities of citizens, three Queen’s University students were hauled ashore by fire crews, after attempting an afternoon paddle aboard their canoe.

As reported by the Whig Standard, the students left shore west of Kingston Yacht Club wearing sports attire and PFD’s. Their initial progress was slow, as the water proved rather solid for the first few hundred feet. Undeterred, the students managed a frigid portage to open water, where their journey continued.

Ashore, onlookers waved and gestured at the students attempting to gain their attention, failing to understand the purpose of the trip. The students, dimly unaware of the doom that natural selection had in store, smiled and waved back to the observers, who perceived this as a cry for help.

Just as the journey was beginning to approach its dangerous conclusion, Kingston Fire Rescue arrived on scene and proceeded to execute their ice water rescue training. The students realized that their practical application of Darwinism may be halted, and tried to indicate to the rescue personnel that they were in fact there on purpose, and did not require assistance.

Using persuasion skills not normally required of rescue workers, Kingston Fire was able to explain to the students the situation they were in, and convince them that returning to shore would be the safest option for everyone involved.

The students reluctantly obliged, and while clearly in contradiction with the premise of self-preservation, the students were found to not have violated any known legal requirements, and were told they were free to go.

It is hoped that their journey will not be a complete loss, as many others may learn to plan their suicidally dangerous activities more carefully, or out of the public eye, lest these helicopter-parenting onlookers ruin another perfectly good attempt at becoming a cautionary tale.

Feral students threaten local delivery drivers

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As warmer weather and the dwindling of student assistance funds combine in the newly minted “student district”, some delivery drivers have admitted they are having to be more and more cautious of students turning feral as exams approach.

“It’s crazy!” Explained a pizza man, his shirt and hat rumpled and panting with every breath. “By the time you get to the street, all you can feel are the eyes. They’re coming out of every window, and they’re staring straight into your car. It’s a risk every single time I open that door, and I’m just lucky I haven’t been attacked yet. I know others haven’t been so lucky.”

Indeed, while there are no confirmed reports, the rumours are well known throughout the tightly-knit fabric of food delivery specialists. Many of them indicate that they know someone who knows someone who was swarmed for their food, and others don’t even feel comfortable carrying an insulated bag through the streets.

One behavioural psychologist based at the university provided some insight into this change in the demeanour and attitudes of the resident species.

“They are, above all, pack driven.” He explained. “By this time in the year, they have well defined and stratified social groupings which they have been operating in throughout the winter. Some of these may have already been in tension due to competition between males for female attentions.”

“Now you start to heat things up. With scarcity in their financial supply, increased outdoor activity, exams, and a traditionally active breeding season leading into their seasonal migrations, they can start to be a bit testy.”

Some Thai-food restaurants, traditionally hard-line delivery advocates, have taken a firm stance against the dangers to their drivers. Refusing to deliver to the door, and instead choosing open, well-lit corners where they can pull up and deliver quickly with a minimized risk of injury. Others have taken the opposite approach, seeking to blend in by hiring younger and younger drivers with older model used vehicles containing sound systems that make up the majority of their value. These have seen moderate success, although the turnover rate is high as they are often drawn to the natural patterns of the students after repeated exposure.

While there is no real answer, the fast-food industry is torn over their ideal outcome. They know that business will plummet after migration, so they are burdened with the fact that they need to make the most of the situation while it’s available. “Maybe we’ll start providing danger pay,” suggested a manager. “God knows these heroes deserve it.”