Murray Pinchuk Community Builder 2019 Award Recipient

November 13, 2019

City of Charlottetown public input consultation recognized for Fitzroy Street Bike Lane project

The City of Charlottetown Sustainability Department recently undertook a community consultation process to gather input about a proposed cycling lane on Fitzroy Street in the downtown. A cycling connector between Victoria Park and the Confederation Trail has been identified as a need for some time. As such, in 2018 an analysis was conducted to review east-west connecting streets in downtown Charlottetown for their
potential to accommodate a cycling lane. Fitzroy Street was recommended for further study and consultation. Upland Planning and Design became involved in December 2018, to provide assistance with exploring all the factors for consideration in conceptual design and
implementation. The intention was to ensure that the community was able to inform the design and implementation of the cycling lane.

Numerous steps were taken to ensure that public and stakeholder engagement was carried out in a manner that was meaningful, transparent, and respectful. Community members were given ample information to make informed opinions, and staff and Council were empowered to treat those opinions with dignity. While there was also plenty of support for the concept, significant community concern emerged through a series of conversations and community meetings, and it was determined that the cycling lane was not in the best interest of the local neighbourhood.

As a result, staff and Council made the decision not to move forward with the Fitzroy Street cycling lane implementation.

Notwithstanding, Council and residents came away from the public process with renewed understandings of the importance of public consultation. One of the insights gained from this project was the importance of providing the public with the opportunity to participate in a
process where residents felt the events and meetings were a valuable use of their time.

“Although the project did not result in the outcome anticipated, the public consultation process was undertaken in a manner to engage various stakeholders, to explore the issues and options and to facilitate informed decision making as the discussion on active transportation
continues,” said Janice Harper from the PEI Institute of Professional Planners. “Professional planners facilitate information sharing and work to inform various stakeholders of the anticipated outcomes from a project or policy decision under consideration by decision makers. Good public consultation processes promote open dialogue on matters of importance to the community.”

About the Murray Pinchuk Award
The Murray Pinchuk Community Builder Award is a local award presented by the Prince Edward Island Association of Planners to recognize an individual, group or organization that has through their outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action demonstrated an extraordinary
commitment to making their community a better place today and for the future. The Award was presented at City hall on November 8 th at noon at City Hall in recognition of World Town Planning Day that is celebrated in over 30 countries by recognizing the contribution of community or student groups, or sponsoring activities that highlight the importance of planning in their community.

View the full Press Release here.

Find out more about the Murray Pinchuk Community Builder Award here.
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