Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 12:00 PM

Public Engagement: Options for Canada Drive Active Transportation and Road Safety Improvements

Photo of a person walking, a person running, a person cycling, and a person wheeling

Today, the City of St. John’s launched a public engagement process to collect feedback on two options being considered for the Canada Drive Active Transportation & Road Safety Improvement project.

Council approved the Bike St. John’s Master Plan in 2019 which prioritizes projects that create a backbone cycling network. This active transportation improvement is part of the backbone cycling network as it offers transportation options that support both commuting and recreational needs.

“This project will improve connectivity for people of all ages, using all forms of active transportation. It will also improve road safety as driving lanes will be narrower,” said Ward 3 Councillor Jamie Korab. “We now want to hear from people who live on Canada Drive and others who will use the facility on which of the options they prefer along the corridor.”

Two options are being considered:

  • Option One – Adding a bidirectional bike path on one side of the street, sidewalks on both sides of the street and allowing parking on the south side only (odd numbered houses).
  • Option Two – Adding a shared-use path (SUP) on one side of the street, sidewalk on the other side of the street with parking allowed on both sides. 

“There are several ways people can have their say about which option they prefer,” said Councillor Korab.

The public are encouraged to visit EngageStJohns.ca from April 26 until May 15 to:

  • Learn about the project, view the two options being considered and vote for their preference
  • Register to attend the virtual meeting on Thursday, May 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 

Signage showing the two options being considered can be found on Canada Drive as well. If you do not have online access, please call 311 or 754-CITY (2489) to speak to a member of the project team or send your feedback via email engage@stjohns.ca.

Active transportation means using your own power to get from one place to another and includes walking, running, biking, and rolling. The area being upgraded is Canada Drive, from Columbus Drive to Team Gushue Highway (civic address of 243 Canada Drive). This corridor will eventually connect with the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use-Pathway and Team Gushue Highway extension to create an east to west mobility network.

Public input will be used to finalize a recommendation to Council and will be applied to all sections of Canada Drive as work is completed. Construction of phase 1 is anticipated to start in 2023 as this work will be incorporated into planned rehabilitation for this area. See backgrounder below for more information.

BACKGROUNDER

Council approved the 2019 Bike St. John’s Master Plan. Its vision is to create “a safe, inclusive, and convenient cycling network that is well-connected, attractive, and reflective of the City’s unique topography and climate. As part of an integrated mobility network, this is supported by policies and programs that promote a cycle-friendly culture.”
 
The 2019 Bike St. John’s Master Plan includes a list of bicycle routes recommended to become a part of the cycling network that reflect the plan’s vision. Within the full cycling network, a subset “backbone cycling network” is identified that supports commuter needs, along with recreational and social experiences. These subset routes are being prioritized for construction to expand and maintain a safe and accessible active transportation system.
 
Construction Timeline
Canada Drive is identified as one of the corridors in the “backbone cycling network.” Since sections of Canada Drive are identified for street rehabilitation in 2023 and future years, any changes to the use of the street are best made during the design and construction phase. Piggybacking on rehabilitation work, will help reduce overall cost and avoid extra construction along the corridor.
 
Decisions about the active transportation option will be applied to the entirety of Canada Drive as rehabilitation work and funding become available. The City of St. John’s has applied for funding for this project under an active transportation cost-shared program available with the federal government.
 
Active Transportation Upgrades
Adding a bike facility or shared-use pathway and integrating it with sidewalks means upgrading active transportation in this area. It will encourage people of all ages and abilities to run, walk, bike, and roll.
 
Connects to Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path
This active transportation path from Columbus Drive to the Team Gushue extension (approximately civic address of 243 Canada Drive) will ultimately connect to Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path to create an east to west mobility network.
 
In March 2022, the City announced that tendering and construction of the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path was delayed. Although the City had hoped to be tendering Phase 1 of construction this spring, realignments and modifications to the project (resulting from the extensive public engagement process) as well as increased market costs for construction have changed the scope and value of this project. The City is currently working with federal and provincial partners to determine the best program to fund this work.
 
The City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely. This project is identified in the City’s Strategic Plan under the goal to expand and maintain a safe and accessible transportation network.