The City of Charlottetown plans to work with all of its partners, including Cycling PEI, on improving the cycling experience in the city.
The ultimate goal of the initiative is to help create a cycling-friendly city where active transportation is a key part of the community culture.
"It seems there has been a bit of a misunderstanding on what our project is. The work that our partners have done and continue to do is a critical piece to moving us forward," said Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy, Chair of the City’s Environment and Sustainability committee. "Beyond stenciling and physical bike lanes, we’re looking at the big picture: how do families travel on bicycles through our city? How do we connect green space with cycling routes? How do our trails intersect with these green spaces, bike lanes and other commonly travelled areas of the city that cyclists frequent? We are not looking to undermine or diminish the significance of anything that any of our partners have done. We want to work together on the big picture approach and improve cycling infrastructure for everyone from avid cyclists to the more timid riders."
The initiative includes a number of components from infrastructure, education and outreach, as well as the involvement of multiple partners and departments. For example:
• Police Services is involved in cycling safety, helmet regulations, and an annual bike auction;
• Parks and Recreation continues to focus on trail development and connecting greenspaces;
• Planning and Heritage is focused on street standard and policy;
• Public Works will continue working on road development and maintenance, street markings, and signage;
• Various community partners will continue to provide information on helmet safety and proper fitting;
• Local bike shops offer help with bike tune-ups and promoting bike culture and equipment;
• Island Trails will continue to assist with the Confederation Trails, education and outreach;
• City watershed groups will continue to assist on trails and greenspaces, education and outreach;
• Neighbouring municipalities are involved in the Regional Active Transportation Plan, cycling events and other joint initiatives, including education and outreach;
• Fusion has identified cycling improvements as a Top 3 goal for the next year and will put together an action team to work on improving cycling culture in collaboration with community partners;
• Charlottetown Youth Matters is working on recommendations from their Youth Retention Advisory Committee report to reduce car culture and represent youth who cycle;
• Cycling PEI is creating maps of existing bike lanes and proposed bike lanes and the organization will continue to offer recommendations for new lanes to Public Works;
• And, T3 Transit is partnering with the City to connect active transportation networks with bus networks and add bike racks to all of the buses.
The results of the Regional Active Transportation Plan, the bike lane maps from Cycling PEI, the work completed to date by the City’s Public Works Department, as well as recommendations from all partners will be combined for the project. As referenced in the City’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP), public feedback is also important. Areas where the public feels there is still work to be done will be examined to see what could be done to address concerns.
"The Environment and Sustainability committee got off on the wrong foot when this project was first announced because it sounded as though they were planning to redo work that our partners have already completed," said Councillor Terry Bernard, Chair of the City’s Public Works and Urban Beautification committee. "Cycling PEI has mapped out all of the existing bike lanes and provided recommendations to Public Works over the years as to where bike lanes should be added. They are the experts and we value their input and guidance. My understanding is the work of our Sustainability Department will focus more on community well-being, joint projects such as those taking place during the upcoming Bike Week and fitting all of the pieces together. Hopefully, we’re now all on the same page."
For more information on goals of the ICSP, visit: www.charlottetown.ca/sustainablecity.php
City of Charlottetown