Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kingston was First Municipality in Ontario to Stand Up for the ZENN

I was in Kingston last week and I found out it was the first municipality in Ontario to pass a motion to support the use of the ZENN on public roads!

How did this happen? Why Kingston? Hard to say. Kingston is not a huge city but it does have a lively mix of people associated with some sizable institutions including Canada's Royal Military College, several large penitentiaries and Queens University. It's best known for it's other "first". Kingston was also the site of Canada's first parliament.

Here's the motion that Kingston City Council passed on April 1, 2008:

"Moved by Deputy Mayor Matheson
Seconded by Councillor Garrison

WHEREAS cars are one of the largest contributors to Greenhouse Gases; and,
WHEREAS the Federal Government has finally given their approval for the sale of the Canadian-made Zenn (Zero Emissions No Noise) Automobiles; and,
WHEREAS provincial approval is still needed to allow both the use and sale of Zenn Automobiles on Ontario roads;
WHEREAS Mopeds and other forms of low speed vehicles are already currently allowed on Ontario roads; and,
WHEREAS Canada, and every province and municipality within our federation, must do our part to reduce our Greenhouse Gas emissions, and strive to not just meet but exceed the Kyoto Protocol targets;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Kingston City Council request that the Province of Ontario and every province and territory in Canada give approval for the Zenn car to be used on Ontario roads and able to be sold and used across Canada as soon as possible;
- and further -
THAT a copy of this resolution be sent for consideration and endorsement to Peter Milliken, MP, John Gerretsen, MPP, the Prime Minister of Canada, the federal ministers responsible for the Environment and Transportation, the Premiers of all provinces and territories, the Ministers responsible for Transportation and the Environment of each province and territory, all municipalities on our regular circulation list, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)."

I wonder if other municipalities are talking about passing or have already passed similar motions? And I wonder if that might be one of the reasons Ontario just announced that it is commissioning a study on how to introduce these kinds of vehicles on Ontario roads? The province has to legalize the use of low speed neighbourhood electric vehicles before anyone in Kingston could go out and buy and drive one. Having municipalities support their use would certainly help the provincial government to get over its worries that the general public wouldn't accept these little electric gems.

Here's the link to the Toronto Star article about Ontario's latest baby step toward approving Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles. But the story also ran in local papers in London, Timmins, Guelph, etc.

For some comments on Ontario's safety concerns scroll down to the second post below.


Dual said...

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josh said...

Thanks for tipping me on Kingston. Good for them.

London roads are missing too much pavement to begin working on hypothetical issues--since the province must first approve the vehicles.

London is an interesting mess. The park following the river is splendid for walking, playing, and commuting by bicycle along its three spokes in/out of downtown.

On-road bicycle lanes don't really exist. Off-road bicycle lanes tend to (a) be littered with light or power poles (Fanshawe Park Rd); or (b) merge with the sidewalk at every intersection (Wonderland Rd).

Let's see where sharing this information about Kingston around London takes us.