Turning Upper Prince into one-way street bad idea, say police

Charlottetown city council gave the green light to an apartment building expansion on Upper Prince Street last week, and some neighbourhood residents voiced concerns the expansion could lead to more traffic in the area.

Some people online suggested turning Upper Prince Street and Walthen Drive, which runs parallel to Upper Prince, into one-way streets.

But Charlottetown police Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell says keeping the streets two way with parking on both sides actually keeps cars from speeding.

"It is not something we would recommend. We do not believe it would improve the situation there, and in fact it may make it worse," he said.

MacConnell said streets that are narrow, have parking on either side and traffic flow going both ways, like Walthen Drive and Upper Prince Street, slow down cars by their design.

If you make a street a one-way street, emergency service vehicles are going to have to go a longer route to some places. — Charlottetown police Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell

"Traffic has to slow down to forfeit that lane sometimes to opposing traffic," he said.

"It solves a lot of the speeding itself."

Many things considered

City police are just one of the groups that offer recommendations to city council on traffic changes and MacConnell said there are a lot of things to consider when changing a traffic pattern.

"When you are looking at changing any traffic pattern in a well established neighbourhood or a traffic flow pattern that has been in place for a long time, you consider not just how it will affect speed or traffic flow — how it'll affect the neighbourhood."

Stephanie vanKampen/CBC

Changing to a one-way street could affect traffic flow to businesses as well as the response of emergency services, he said.

"If you make a street a one-way street, emergency service vehicles are going to have to go a longer route to some places," MacConnell said.

'Will actually increase speeding'

MacConnell said there has been no recent formal request to change the streets to one way, but it has been discussed over the years and he still doesn't think it is a good idea.

"We believe that turning those streets into one-way streets will actually increase the speeding," he said.

MacConnell said a lot of the traffic on the two streets is because both connect Allen Street and Euston Street, and many drivers use them as an alternative to University Avenue.

"Certainly turning those into one way streets is not going to solve that problem either," he said.

More P.E.I. news