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Planned Cornwall bike path would make cycling commute safer for residents, says council

Andrew Burt gets ready to rack his bike on Kent Street where he works. Burt is one of many advocates for a new bike path from the Cornwall Terry Fox Centre to the North River Causeway.
Andrew Burt gets ready to rack his bike on Kent Street where he works. Burt is one of many advocates for a new bike path from the Cornwall Terry Fox Centre to the North River Causeway. - Ernesto Carranza
CORNWALL, P.E.I. —

The Town of Cornwall has a plan for making the trip to Charlottetown safer and more comfortable for runners, walkers and cyclists.

With the Trans-Canada Highway set to be re-routed around Cornwall soon, the town has started the process to make the old highway more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

"We had a parks and recreation study done with working groups and surveys out to the public to get feedback for what they want to see once the highway is opened up as a main street," said Coun. Elaine Barnes. 

"One thing that keep coming up was a safe pathway to walk from the former North River intersection to the new Terry Fox Centre."

The four-year plan, which was passed in several resolutions at Cornwall's most recent council meeting, will have four phases and includes a pathway from the North River Causeway roundabout by the Cows Creamery to the town of Cornwall.

Barnes said that the pathway will offer residents an alternative way to stay active, have sustainable transportation and offer families an opportunity to get outside.

"It is all about getting people more active and environmentally friendly transportation," said Barnes.

"If you look at the work we've done over the last several years, the proactive approach that we've taking with safety, with safety signs, speed humps to slow people down, investment in transportation... this [pathway] adds another layer to that."
-Coun. Elaine Barnes

Mike Connolly, who has been a member of Cycling P.E.I. for 14 years, says the plan will bring Cornwall in line with Stratford and Charlottetown, which have also been working on active transportation.

"With paths going up all around the three communities, we will have the desired link between the three communities," said the Crapaud resident.

Safety was also a major issue to consider, said Barnes, noting the pathway will have lighting all the way down, with 55 light poles set to be built in 2022 at a cost of $121,000.

At the meeting, concerns over busy traffic and an increased RCMP presence were voiced as all councillors talked about the ongoing problem of  dangerous driving happening in the town.

"If you look at the work we've done over the last several years, the proactive approach that we've taking with safety, with safety signs, speed humps to slow people down, investment in transportation... this [pathway] adds another layer to that," said Barnes.

Connolly says this type of infrastructure needs to be properly funded to reduce the risk of accidents for commuters.

"This is the top level of infrastructure that you want to shoot for," said Connolly.

"A separated path for walkers, runners, bikers, people with disabilities is ideal because the safety factor goes way up as opposed to a bike lane on the shoulder of the road."
Barnes says notices will be sent out by Cornwall council to residents as each phase of the projects begins and ends. Residents can also follow the plans on the town's Facebook page.

Twitter.com/Ernesto_Carranz


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