PEI

Group vows to 'keep that pressure going' for bike lanes

A cycling advocacy group says it will continue to pressure all levels of government to create a network of active transportation lanes.

'If you build it, they will come'

Bike Friendly Charlottetown wants a dedicated, safe active transportation network, says group member Mitch Underhay. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

A cycling advocacy group says it will continue to pressure all levels of government to create a network of active transportation lanes.

Bike Friendly Charlottetown held an event Wednesday night to look at what municipalities like Charlottetown, Cornwall and Stratford are currently doing, how they can improve and where active transportation projects could be built in the future. 

Group member Mitch Underhay said the goal is to see dedicated, safe active transportation lanes created in the three municipalities.

"What we're trying to do is to say, 'Hey you're planning this, you're planning that' … let's all get together and say the same thing," said Underhay.

"If you build it, they will come."

'It just felt really unsafe'

At least 100 people attended the event and had the opportunity to give their feedback on what's working and what's not. 

For Pamela Atkinson who used to be an avid cyclist, she said she'd like to see designated cycling lanes in order for her to get back on her bike again.

Pamela Atkinson and her 8-month-old daughter Elliott were at the event. Atkinson would like to see designated cycling lanes in the city for herself and her children in the future. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

"I stopped biking pretty much soon after I moved here because there was no shoulders on the road, there was no bike lanes," she said.

"It just felt really unsafe."

Atkinson brought her eight-month old daughter to the event and said she'd like to see the infrastructure put in place for her children.

"I'd also like it for further generations, we have a son and our daughter here," she said.

"We want them to be able to feel safe biking in Charlottetown as they grow up."

We are doing it because his ideas are right and they are the best thing for this region.- Mitch Underhay, Bike Friendly Charlottetown

Underhay said the active transportation lanes wouldn't just be used by cyclists.

"Active transportation means walking, cycling, jogging, you know, wheelchairs … you're using your own power to get around without having to get off that trail or drive to it," he said.

Underhay pointed to the trail project underway in Cornwall and the province's $25 million commitment to an active transportation fund as being steps in the right direction.

"They are building that trail in Cornwall and they're thinking about that trail on Capital Drive," he said.

"So we want to keep that pressure going."

'Josh is driving me'

Bike Friendly Charlottetown was created in memory of Underhay's brother Josh.

Josh was an avid cyclist and was pushing for an interconnected bike trail system in Charlottetown before he and his son Oliver died in a canoeing accident last year.

Bike Friendly Charlottetown will be collecting all of the feedback from the event and presenting it to government. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

"Josh is driving me," Underhay said.

"We are doing it because his ideas are right and they are the best thing for this region."

Underhay said the group plans to compile all the information from the event and present it to government. 

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