Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 9:45 AM

What We Heard: Canada Drive Active Transportation and Road Safety Improvements

Picture of people walking, running, wheeling and cycling

The City of St. John’s has released the summary of ‘What We Heard’ (WWH) during public engagement for the Canada Drive Active Transportation and Road Safety Improvements project.

The City shared two concepts to improve active transportation and road safety on Canada Drive and collected feedback on both options.

Public engagement took place between April 26  and May 31 during which time there were 793 visits to the project page at engagestjohns.ca; 688 people visited the project page; 268 engaged there (people who posted questions/comments or voted in the poll question). Twenty-three people attended the virtual engagement session and 19 people who live on Canada Drive attended an in-person meeting. Additionally, City staff met with administrators at two schools in the area to gather their input, received 33 email submissions, and received four phone calls.

The following is a summary of key findings from feedback received:

  • There is no definitive agreement on which option is preferred. Those who live on the street mostly prefer a shared-use path (SUP). Citywide, there is a preference for the dedicated bike lanes.
  • Sidewalk snow clearing is a major concern regarding the project. Among people living on Canada Drive, the extra width of SUP/sidewalk/bike lanes in front of their homes puts an additional strain on those clearing their driveways. Among people who want to use the new active transportation route, there are questions about its usefulness if it is not adequately maintained in the winter.
  • Parking is reported as very important among the people who live on Canada Drive. This is an important factor in their preference for the SUP option.
  • There are concerns about sightlines and sidewalk snow clearing priority on the north side of the street and some concerns about connectivity and safety throughout the street.
  • Active transportation is important to the schools. Many students walk or bike to school. Most students live close enough to school that they do not qualify for busing.
  • Most people are generally happy to hear about streetscape changes to improve active transportation. Some people suggest the City is not going far enough to implement safe and comfortable active transportation infrastructure; others suggest bike lanes are not needed and are not a good use of taxpayer money.

Read the complete WWH document at engagestjohns.ca.

WWH will be shared with City Council during the Wednesday, June 29 Committee of The Whole meeting. Meetings are broadcast live on the City’s website. Next steps will include bringing a recommendation for the design of Canada Drive at a future Council meeting for approval.