Cycling PEI questions proposed bike lane on Fitzroy Street

Cycling PEI's executive director Mike Connolly said the city's proposal for a two-way bike lane is good in theory but will be hard to implement.

The projected cost of the bike lane is $1.1M

The proposed Fitzroy Street bike lane would connect the southern end of Confederation Trail with the bike route in Victoria Park. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Cycling PEI's executive director Mike Connolly says the city's proposal for a two-way bike lane is good in theory, but will be hard to implement.

The City of Charlottetown proposed the two-way buffered bike lane on Fitzroy Street based on recommendations from a report by engineering firm CBCL.

The report looked at usage of several city bike lanes over a two weekend period last fall and advised the street was the best route to connect Victoria Park with Confederation Trail.

Connolly said Fitzroy Street already has a shared bike lane that works very well.

"To spend over a million dollars to fix something that isn't broken, that money may be better spent on other higher priority active transportation projects," he said.

The dedicated bike lanes on Fitzroy Street would be separated from motor vehicles by a 0.9 metre barrier. The barrier could consist of curbs, painted lines and planters. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Connolly thinks projects like finishing the Brackley path at the bottom of Brackley Point Road would be a better investment.

Ramona Doyle, the city's sustainability officer previously told CBC the initiative came from public consultation.

"People wanted more safe options for travelling by bike," she said.

If the Fitzroy project is approved, construction will begin next year at a projected cost of $1.1 million.

New barriers

The plan would also include construction of new sidewalks and the reconfiguration of some intersections.

According to Doyle, a 0.9 metre-wide barrier would separate cyclists from motorized traffic.

Connolly thinks the existing infrastructure is enough.

"You can't buffer through the intersections and that's where the problem areas are going to lie," he said.

The proposal would see changes occur to parking as well, but according to Doyle the city has not yet made any decisions.

Connolly believes this is another reason not to implement the bike lane.

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With files from Nicole Williams