International active transportation experts will submit report to three municipal councils and province
© Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
IBI Group project manager Norma Moores, right, discusses some draft recommendations for the Regional Active Transportation Plan with Stantec Consulting planner Kate Greene during an open house for the plan Thursday night at UPEI.
People in the greater Charlottetown area want to feel safer whether they're out walking or riding a bike.
That's what international active transportation experts are going to tell councils in Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall as well as the provincial government.
The IBI Group, based in Toronto and Hamilton, Ont., has been on a fact-finding mission since September, holding public information sessions with the goal of developing a regional active transportation plan for the greater Charlottetown area.
IBI Group held its final public meeting in Charlottetown Thursday night and will now compile its findings before submitting a final report to the three municipal councils and to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
From talking to people, IBI will split its findings into four categories.
First, people want a visible network.
"It's really about getting some pavement markings, some bicycle logos down on some of the paved shoulders and bike lanes that already exist in the city,'' said Norma Moores, the engineer with IBI that is co-ordinating the P.E.I. study.
"It's a little bit sporadic how they're marked. Plus (it's about) improving the signage so the people who see the beginning or end of a trail know where they are and how it connects.''
Things like signage that's easy to see and clear logos also notify motorists they may encounter pedestrian or bicycle traffic.
Another big request IBI found is people want safer conditions for pedestrians and cyclists on the Hillsborough Bridge and North River Causeway.
"One of the things we're looking at is whether or not there could be a trail that's behind the guardrail or down along the causeway access road that would then come up on the bridge so people would have more separation from traffic.''
As for the Hillsborough Bridge itself, the structure cannot handle any additional load, according to the province.
That means not adding on to the bridge but using what is there now.
Moores said potential ideas include widening the sidewalk or removing it altogether to create a wider paved shoulder.
"There is a bit of a pinch point there. We've heard from (Department of Transportation) that the foundation of the bridge is sitting on and underneath are really at capacity.''
IBI says people also want to see the Confederation Trail somehow connect to Victoria Park and the downtown, a lane perhaps between on-street parking and the sidewalk to provide a little more comfort for people who are used to more recreational riding.
"It's really all about providing some guidance to the communities . . . but it's important that the public realize there may not be an appetite for everything that's in the plan.''
- More visible network of pavement markings, bicycle logos and signage.
- Safer conditions on Hillsborough Bridge and North River Causeway.
- Connecting Confederation Trail with Victoria Park and the downtown.