Artist rendition of the bridge

Student Blog

My Placement at the Third Crossing with the City of Kingston has been a special educational experience. For a student in Advertising and Marketing Communications, there is a lot to take away from working with a municipal public engagement team.

By Daniel Taylor, St. Lawrence College student, March 18, 2019

My last four days with the City of Kingston are coming up, and it is time for me to reflect upon my experience as a placement student here at the City of Kingston. When searching for a placement, I had many options: Event marketing companies, radio stations, digital marketing positions, advertising agencies – However, I had done a great deal of work in these scenarios before, and I decided to expand my horizons. Working with the communications officers on the Third Crossing project has given me some valuable takeaways that I can apply to my future career.

The main difference between working with the city of Kingston and all of my other public relations/marketing opportunities is that there is more at stake for the community. Every time the City of Kingston works on a project, they must pay close attention to the needs of the public so that they can benefit the entire community to the best of their ability. For the public engagement team, this means hosting near-neighbour meetings, analyzing data from studies and surveys, and keeping track of interactions with the public over social media and email. These mediums of communication offer the public a chance to voice their opinion on important projects such as the Third Crossing. To see what a near-neighbour meeting looks like, check out this video that I took from the Third Crossing East-side near-neighbour meeting.

At the City of Kingston, I have been able to work with some of the hardest-working, most talented people I know. In my program at St. Lawrence College, one of my courses is Video Strategies, a fantastic course teaching us the basics in video shooting and editing. I have been able to advance my skills with the help of communications officer Paul Whittingham, an expert in graphic design, animation, and video production. My meetings with Paul have been very productive, as he has critiqued my infographics and guided me through improving my videos. I was able to capture B-roll for Paul while he was shooting an "Inside our City" video about the Third Crossing. You can find the video here.

 

I have gained so much knowledge about the processes and inner-workings of municipal work through this placement. The most important takeaway for me was learning that you should always be doing research on the project you are working on. For me, that meant asking questions about the Third Crossing project, understanding construction schedules and procedures, and reading about other bridge projects and how they have gone about engaging with the public.

I'd like to say thank you to my placement supervisors Holly Wilson (Manager of Intergovernmental Affairs) and Marie Bartlett (Communications Officer) as well as Holly Saunders (Executive Assistant) for their guidance which made this a great experience for me. I've also learned a lot about this project from the presentations of Mark Van Buren (Deputy Commissioner, Transportation and Infrastructure Services, Engineering) and Mark Armstrong (Environmental Lead, Hatch). I look forward to following this project, and I encourage you to do the same by joining the newsletter.

My placement at Kingston's Third Crossing
By Daniel Taylor, St. Lawrence College student, March 18, 2019

My name is Dan Taylor, and I'm a student at St. Lawrence College in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program. I have lived in Kingston for my whole life, and consider myself a proud Kingstonian.
Last autumn, with pressure to find a placement for this semester, I researched projects in Kingston hoping to find something exciting and impactful. It was then that I came across an opportunity to be a co-op student at the Third Crossing, a massive bridge construction project in Kingston that has been approved by City Council and will begin construction in summer 2019. And so, since February, I have been working with the team that is making this project happen.

I'm lucky enough to be a member of the Third Crossing team during my placement, as this project will have a great effect on my hometown

  • Providing an alternative eastern route
  • Providing vehicular alternatives

I can vividly recall trips to the Royal Military College's Constantine arena for house league hockey games throughout my childhood. My family's biggest frustration with these games was that, many times, getting through the backed-up traffic during rush-hour took almost as long as driving from the west end of Kingston to downtown did. According to this article by Bill Hutchins, The Lasalle Causeway will reach its capacity for traffic by the end of the 2010's.
The Third Crossing is going to allow for cyclists and walkers to access the bridge. This is fantastic news to me, as it will provide Kingstonians and me with more environmentally-conscious ways of utilizing the bridge. This addition to the bridge will coincide with the City's general plans to make roads more cyclist-friendly.

 

Thanks to the $180,000,000 3-way funding from the City, the Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada, we will finally get to see this idea come to life. I look forward to hearing and reporting more about the progress of this groundbreaking project. To hear the opinion of more supporters, check out this article about the Kingston East Business Association's beliefs.
 

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