Officials ask Islanders to take proper Capital Drive detour

·2 min read

Officials with the city of Charlottetown are asking the public to take the proper detours associated with the Capital Drive construction project — and to slow down while they do it.

Construction on Capital Drive, one of the main arteries into the city, started last Tuesday. Motorists have been instructed by signs to detour from the Maypoint roundabout toward the Charlottetown bypass to get into town.

Scott Adams, Charlottetown's manager of public works, said motorists should be taking the designated detours, in a statement to CBC.

"We recognize that there are some traffic delays and this work is an inconvenience for motorists, but the improvements to the stormwater management system in the area are vital to ensure the longevity of the infrastructure and the safety of everyone who travels in the area," he wrote.

"We respectfully ask that motorists do not cut through residential areas in an attempt to save time. Residential areas are not designed to take large traffic flows."

It is certainly concerning and probably a lot more than we anticipated. — Charlottetown Coun. Greg Rivard

Gordon McNeilly, the MLA for Charlottetown-West Royalty, said he's heard from many of his constituents in the Beach Grove Road area, a residential community that connects Capital Drive to North River Road.

"There's a few different issues," McNeilly said. "Speed has been an evolving argument in that area, that on the Beach Grove Road, speed gets up."

He said he's hearing that residents are having difficulty getting in and out of their driveways, as well as concerns about the number of travellers going through their neighbourhoods, which were never intended to handle this volume of vehicles.

"With the amount of traffic flow, I'm hearing that the lights at the corner of Beach Grove and North River need to be changed. There's too much of a bottleneck at the bottom of that road."

Greg Rivard, city councillor for the area, said he has been in contact with McNeilly and said he's also hearing from residents.

"It is certainly concerning and probably a lot more than we anticipated," said Rivard, who also chairs the planning committee.

Rivard said the city is looking at some solutions for the new traffic flow issues, including increasing police presence, temporary intersections and signs.

"And in the meantime, really, a plea for people to go the other way," he said.

McNeilly echoed Rivard's comments, as he also worries about the days growing shorter and the effect night driving and speeding traffic would have on active commuters, like walkers and cyclists, as well as kids getting on and off the bus.

"Let's use the bypass," MacNeilly said. "[It] is set up for that."

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