Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the City considering this project? What are the benefits?

The Regional Active Transportation Plan, The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, and the Community Energy Plan recommend an increase in dedicated cycling infrastructure and enhanced connections between existing dedicated cycling infrastructure.  A cycling connector through the downtown between Victoria Park and the Confederation Trail has been identified as a specific need for some time. As more residents and visitors are opting to bike in Charlottetown and in surrounding areas this need has grown. The density of downtown development makes it impractical to construct a new off-street cycling route so using the existing street network is necessary to achieve a cycling connector through downtown. Fitzroy Street was identified in a preliminary engineering study as the best corridor for this dedicated cycling connection.

Well connected, designated cycling networks in cities have numerous benefits for human health, the local economy, the environment, and the tourism industry. These benefits have been demonstrated in cities all across North America and Europe.

What will the Fitzroy Street Bike Lane look like?

The preliminary design shows a 2-way bike lane located on the south side of Fitzroy Street (the side closest to the Charlottetown Harbour) with a buffer between cyclists and vehicle traffic. The width of the buffer will vary between 0.3m and 1.0m, and will most likely include a combination of painted medians, raised concrete medians, and mountable curbs. Wherever practical, the City could consider supplementing the buffers with moveable planters during summer months to beautify Fitzroy Street. These changes will reduce Fitzroy Street to one lane of one-way vehicle traffic, and the existing on-street parking along the south side will be removed. There will continue to be a pedestrian sidewalk on both sides of Fitzroy Street. Each block of Fitzroy will be looked at individually and unique characteristics and challenges will be addressed in the final design. Some changes will be made to the intersections on Fitzroy Street to improve visibility, flow of traffic, and safety for all road users. This may include removal of some stop signs along Fitzroy.

Why Fitzroy Street?

Fitzroy Street was recommended for the proposed bike lane project based on the following characteristics:

  •     Fitzroy provides a fairly direct route for cyclists between Victoria Park and Confederation Trail
  •     It is a one-way street so there are fewer intersection turning movements, creating a safer environment for cyclists
  •     The traffic volumes are generally lower than adjacent streets, and don’t justify the two existing travel lanes (i.e. surplus                          asphalt width)
  •     The composition and types of existing land uses
  •     There are no angled parking spaces
  •     It’s already designated as a shared cycling route


What other streets were reviewed as possibilities for the bike lane?

Kent, Euston, Grafton, Water, Sydney, Dorchester, King, and Richmond Streets were also evaluated as potential locations for the bike lane.

Euston, Grafton, and Water Streets were not recommended as they have high volumes of two-way traffic and generally have more truck and delivery vehicle traffic to access the downtown.

Richmond, Sydney, Dorchester, and King Streets have lower volumes of one-way traffic but are generally quite narrow and would not provide sufficient space.

The most direct routes between Victoria Park and the Confederation Trail are Kent Street and Fitzroy Street. Kent Street was deemed less suitable as it has higher traffic volumes, more commercial development and density, three blocks of angled parking, and traffic signals at three intersections.  

Fitzroy is already designated as a shared cycling route so why do we need to separate a lane with a barrier?

Many cyclists in Charlottetown feel comfortable cycling with motor vehicle traffic, however, there is a large demographic of cyclists or would-be cyclists who do not feel safe without some form of barrier separation between themselves and motor vehicle traffic.  Barrier separated cycling infrastructure has proven to improve safety and create conditions that are comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Similarly, connected bicycling infrastructure that ensures a continuous route increases cycling activity and makes it a more desirable and viable form of transportation for people.

 

What is the cost of the Fitzroy Bike Lane?

The total cost to develop the design of the Fitzroy Street Bike Lane will be about $83,000.  This includes the costs to carry out an extensive community consultation process with residents and stakeholders, completion of legal surveys, traffic counts and analysis, concept design and engineering, preparation of cost estimates, and (pending Council approval) preparation of construction documents. 

The total cost to construct the bike lane was initially estimated at $1,007,000. This is subject to change based on the final design.

The total cost of the design phase and construction phase combined would be $1,090,000. The City has received Federal Funding from the Municipal Strategic Component of the Gas Tax Fund to cover 50% ($545,000) of the costs of this project. The remaining $545,000 would be the cost to the City of Charlottetown for the design and construction of this project. The Federal Funding received from the Gas Tax Fund cannot be allocated to other projects, like affordable housing.

 

What about the existing parking supply, usage, and regulation on Fitzroy?

On-street parking has been a major theme of discussion surrounding the Fitzroy Bike Lane Project. Most on-street parking on the south side of Fitzroy would be removed to accommodate the bike lanes while on-street parking on the north side of the street will generally not be impacted by the bike lane. Information about the existing parking supply, usage, and regulation is currently under review by project staff and through discussions with Charlottetown City Police. The City is examining other potential projects that could increase parking supply as part of its 2019-2020 Budget.  

For parking that is retained, there will be a preference given to accessible spaces, loading zones, residential permit parking, and then for the general public.

Do residents have rights to the street outside their homes?

Street parking is located in the public right of way and is considered a shared resource that is not designated for any specific residence or individual. On-street parking cannot be used as a property feature in a realtor listing.

 What if a residents only available parking is on the street?

Residents who have no off-street parking available to them may qualify for a residential parking permit. To apply for a residential parking permit the registration of your vehicle must have the same address where you are applying for the permit. The on-street public parking on the north side of the street will generally not be impacted by the bike lane and is considered a shared resource that could be utilized by residents who have no available off-street parking.

How will driveway access be affected by the bike lane? 

Access to all existing driveways and off-street parking areas will be maintained. Drivers will need to cross the bike lanes when entering or exiting their driveway (whether driving forward or in reverse), and will have to yield to cyclists in both directions before doing so.

 Non-residential driveways with higher volumes, such as at the Fitzroy Parkade, Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, and Government parking lot, will be painted to make them more noticeable and to alert both drivers and cyclists to be aware of possible conflicts.

 

How will the city ensure that intersections remain safe for everyone, including pedestrians crossing the street?

Improvements at some of the intersections would be beneficial for the comfort and safety of all road users, including motorists and pedestrians, regardless of the bike lane. With the implementation of the bike lane, these intersection improvements would become an imminent necessity. The traffic engineer that has been commissioned to design the bike lane is working closely with the City Public Works Manager on solutions to these existing intersection challenges.  It is anticipated that the final design will include curb extensions at some intersections (including Great George) which will significantly reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and cyclists. All of the City’s road projects must adhere to the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) design guidelines, and are subject to the Highway Safety Act.

 

How will situations like deliveries, waste pickup, moving trucks, contractors etc, where large vehicles will require space on the street be handled?

City Staff and the traffic engineers working on the final design have met with a number of businesses on the street regarding loading zone requirements.  Conversations have also been held with IWMC and oil delivery companies to ensure that service will not be impacted for properties on Fitzroy due to the implementation of the bike lane.  Considerations for these requirements will be built into the final design.

 

Will the project take in to account how emergency vehicles will be able to use the street, and the effect they may have on other traffic? 

City Staff and the traffic engineers working on the final design have consulted with Fire and Police Services regarding requirements for both safe passage and spatial requirements for firefighting operations. The project will meet the requirements of the National Fire Prevention Code. 

As with on any other street, emergency situations take priority over traffic flow.

 

Will the bike lane be open year-round?

It is not yet decided if the bike lane will be in place year-round. Part of this will depend on the design that is finalized in consultation with the community.  An important consideration will be snow removal.

 

How will snow removal be handled?

 Snow removal procedures will be put in place once we have an updated design and if it is decided if the bike lane will be open year-round.  It has been noted that there are some existing challenges in the area related to snow removal on sidewalks, trails, and cycling routes. There is a general desire for increased resources to ensure that all active transportation infrastructure is successfully maintained and operated in the winter months.  Snow removal has been discussed regularly during the design phase and our traffic engineer continues to explore options that would mitigate challenges around snow clearing.

 

 What was the consultation process on the Fitzroy Street Bike Lane Project?

 The following opportunities for public consultation and feedback on the proposed Fitzroy Bike Lane Project have been provided:

  • Community drop-in session on January 10, 2019
  • Stakeholder meetings
  • Resident meeting on February 7, 2019 – hand delivered invitations by Ward Councillors
  • Online social media comments (via Facebook)
  • Online feedback form and email submissions
  • Long format written submissions to City staff
  • Stakeholder meetings were held in January and February with representatives from 11 organizations and groups of individuals, including businesses, churches, residents, and City staff across multiple departments.

 Stakeholder meetings have been held with:

  • Charlottetown Police Services
  • Charlottetown Fire Department
  • Charlottetown Parks and Recreation
  • Charlottetown Parkland Conservation (street trees)
  • Charlottetown Planning and Heritage
  • Charlottetown Asset Management and Infrastructure
  • ADL
  • Kirk of St. James
  • Downtown Charlottetown Inc. Members (33 businesses/institutions invited)
  • Downtown Residents Association
  • Fitzroy Street residents
  • IWMC

The final component of the public consultation is a Public Meeting on February 26, 2019 where the final design will be presented to the public.

Has there been consideration given to how busy the street is with vehicle traffic during weekday commute times?

A study has been completed for the Fitzroy/Great George intersection showing traffic volumes and patterns; further study is currently underway to provide traffic volume information along Fitzroy Street. It is the intention of the project that traffic calming would be one of the outcomes making the street safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists as well as making it more comfortable in the residential areas.

It is also the intention of the project that there will be an increase in bicycle commuters on the bike lane resulting in less vehicle traffic and employee/student parking congestion on Fitzroy Street.

 
What else is the City doing to enhance cycling conditions in Charlottetown?

The Fitzroy Bike Lane Project is one of a number of other cycling projects and initiatives that proposed for 2019. There are additional dedicated infrastructure projects recommended in the 2019-2020 Budget that aim to connect existing active transportation networks in other areas of the city. The City plans to enhance the safety of existing shared roadways for all users by adding informative signage and improving some trail crossings.

The City aims to foster respectful, safe, coexistence of motorists and cyclists through increasing communications around cycling awareness and cycling safety. Through partnerships with CyclingPEI and Charlottetown City Police Services a number of education initiatives are planned including new cycling programming, events, and resources.

 

I’m a new cyclist/interested in becoming a cyclist – will I be safe on the Fitzroy Street Bike lane?

The intent of this project is to create a bike route from the Confederation Trail to the Victoria Park Bike Lane that would be separated from motor vehicle traffic and safe for all users including children, seniors, and brand new riders.  Proper signage, traffic control, and overall design will be focused on ensuring safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.  Education on how to properly navigate the bike lane as a cyclist and as a motorist will be an important part of the project. Like in all cycling situations, cyclists need to drive defensively, be aware of traffic and follow the rules of road.

 

Will the Fitzroy Street Bike Lane be open to pedestrians?

 No, the Fitzroy Street Bike Lane is intended primarily for cyclists, but would also be available for other non-motorized wheeled transportation modes such as rollerblades, skateboards, or scooters. Sidewalks on both sides of Fitzroy Street will continue to be maintained for pedestrians.