Charlottetown residents weighed in on plans to redevelop the section of North River Road from Capital Drive to McGill Avenue at a packed open house Wednesday afternoon.
One of the biggest changes proposed by the city is an extra dedicated left turning lane turning onto Capital Drive, towards Cornwall. A roundabout would also be built at the intersection of North River and Beach Grove roads.
The city says its master plan should improve traffic flow and improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
"We see a roundabout really working efficiently … just with the balance of traffic that we're seeing in that area," said Scott Adams, manager of public works for the City of Charlottetown.
Adams said there will also be improved street lighting and enhancements to green space in the area.
A couple of options are being proposed for active transportation: A two-lane option that would go on one side of the road, and a single cycling lane that would run beside the traffic.
'We see a roundabout really working efficiently … just with the balance of traffic that we're seeing in that area,' said Scott Adams, manager of public works for the City of Charlottetown. ((Tony Davis/CBC))
"It's something that we wanted to present to the residents and see which model that the cycling community would like and the residents will like as well," Adams said.
'The road is very dangerous'
Beth Nichol has lived on North River Road for 17 years and was one of the residents who attended Wednesday afternoon's open house.
Residents at the open house said they had concerns about safety and accessibility on North River Road. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)
She said the road has gotten busier over the years and that she's seen issues with speeding and distracted drivers.
"The road is very dangerous," she said. "For me to even come to this meeting, I had to turn left onto North River Road and that's near a suicide attempt, because you just can't safely cross."
Resident Eric Dunn also lives in the area. He said some days he's lucky just to be able to leave his driveway.
"If it wasn't for the generosity of people, I would never get onto North River Road," he said.
Beth Nichol says the road has become very busy over the years and people don't always obey the speed limit. (Ken Linton/CBC)
Dunn said he supports the roundabout at Beach Grove Road and hopes the redevelopment will make travelling safer for cyclists.
"The spaces that they provide are much too narrow," he said. "There's going to be a major accident, and somebody is going to get hurt."
Road seems busier than University Avenue, councillor says
Kevin Ramsay is the councillor for Ward 5, which covers North River Road from Capital Drive to Nassau. He said constituents have told him how busy that stretch of road is — and that he's glad to see something being done about it.
"North River Road seems to be busier than University Avenue right now, in my view, and I have part of University Avenue too," Ramsay said.
"It just seems to be right off the charts the last few years, and I hope this plan is going to be working out great for it."
Coun. Kevin Ramsay said he's glad the city is looking to make changes. (Ken Linton/CBC)
Officials will review residents' feedback, and then come up with a final plan for council to approve. That could happen over the winter, then the city may have a better idea of what's going to cost.
Adams said work on North River Road can't start until another big project gets underway: a major overhaul of University Avenue, which is set to begin next spring.
There was a second open house in the evening. The plan will be available later this week on the City of Charlottetown's website, where residents can continue to provide feedback.