Kudos to Ramona Doyle and Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy for their initiative to transform Fitzroy Street into a segregated bike lane (Guardian, June 19, 2018). As an avid city cyclist, I applaud any decision that makes cycling in Charlottetown easier and safer.
I cycle for transportation every day for at least six months of the year. Over the years, I have watched as cycling in Charlottetown has become safer, thanks to infrastructure changes, such as the dedicated bike lane around Victoria Park, and the multi-modal lane along Riverside Drive. Cities that want to promote cycling as a viable alternative to motorized travel need to create safe, dedicated bike lanes to encourage people of all abilities and ages to cycle. Research has shown that more people are likely to take up cycling and have fewer accidents when the infrastructure is built.
As a family doctor, I am always encouraging my patients to embrace active transportation (walking, cycling, inline skating) to achieve their daily exercise goals. We know that regular exercise improves common health problems, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, depression and anxiety and obesity. More research is showing that regular exercise is as effective as medications in the early stages of these conditions. Building cycling infrastructure could therefore have the long-term effect of improving the health of Islanders, and reducing health care spending on chronic diseases.
I am looking forward to cycling across Charlottetown using the new Fitzroy corridor, and would encourage further infrastructure changes in the future.