Boardwalk expansion plan raises safety concerns
Boardwalk changes part of master plan for Victoria Park
A group in Charlottetown is trying to stop a plan to allow cyclists on the city's boardwalk.
The master plan for Victoria Park would see the boardwalk expanded to a four-metre width, and would also allow cyclists and roller bladers. That worries Maureen and Bob Hutcheson. They have gathered 300 signatures on a petition to stop the plan.
"Everything that moves can go on the boardwalk, that is bicycles and rollerblades," said Maureen Hutcheson.
"That kind of frightens people."
The Hutchesons are still gathering signatures. They had 300 late on Wednesday, and they told CBC News people on the boardwalk Wednesday were clearly against the change.
"Certainly there's no question the overwhelming opinion here amongst people on the boardwalk is that they don't want the changes that are proposed," said Bob Hutcheson.
Charlottetown's parks and recreation manager Sue Fraser said concerns about safety are unfounded. The change is part of a plan that would see the roadway around the park re-opened to two-way traffic year-round. Currently, one lane is shut down for bicycle use from May to October, allowing vehicle traffic to flow in one direction only.
Fraser said there is public demand for a return to two-way traffic year-round, and many cyclists will be on that roadway.
"I think the concern that cyclists are going to be blasting through on the boardwalk is really unfounded," she said.
"People who are just trying to pedal through as part of their throughfare getting to a destination are going to be on the pavement."
Fraser said there's no set time for when the city will widen the boardwalk.
The Hutchesons will take their petition to the mayor Thursday. They said they want the city to hold another public meeting so council can hear their concerns.
For mobile device users: Is it a good idea for cyclists and pedestrians to share the boardwalk in Victoria Park?