Charlottetown wants to build better bike lanes on Fitzroy Street

The City of Charlottetown is asking Ottawa to fund part of a $1M project to build new sidewalks, re-design intersections, and install two-way dedicted bike lanes along a 1.9 km stretch of Fitzroy Street.

Bikes-only lanes would link east and west ends of downtown, cost about $1M

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

The City of Charlottetown is considering building a dedicated, two-way bike lane along Fitzroy Street, to link Victoria Park in the west with Joe Ghiz Park and the Confederation Trail in the east.

The plan would cost an estimated $1.1 million, including construction of new sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as reconfiguration of some intersections.

The city has applied to Ottawa for just over $1 million in federal funding to offset the cost.

"We're seeing a real push from the community," said Ramona Doyle, the city's sustainability officer. "There's a desire to have more safe bike lanes available for people to use."

A local engineering firm came up with a preliminary plan last year, according to Doyle. It would see the dedicated bike lanes separated from motorized traffic on Fitzroy Street by a barrier, 0.9 metres wide. The barrier could include curbs, painted lines and planters, according to Doyle. The bicycle lanes would run along the south side of Fitzroy Street. Some existing four-way stops would be converted to two-way stops.

Some of the existing sidewalk along Fitzroy Street is in need of replacement, according to Doyle, because it is too narrow by modern design standards.

The city is also involved in discussions to develop a multi-use trail across the Hillsborough Bridge to link Charlottetown and Stratford. That project is not part of the bike-lane funding application.

"This would really give us a nice connected network from potentially Stratford all the way to Victoria Park," Doyle said. "It would be a major increase in cycling infrastructure."

The city would also put effort into enticing more people to ride bicycles, according to Doyle.

Construction and demolition: $825K

"In addition to the actual infrastructure, we'd need to put work into programming and promotion in order to get more people using the bike lane and more people out cycling," Doyle said.

The city has estimated construction and demolition costs for the Fitzroy Street bike lanes at $825,000. Cost of design and engineering is pegged at $75,000.  Other costs, listed on the funding application to Ottawa, include $99,000 in HST.

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