Why has City failed to promote the 2022 budget public consultation?

1. The consultation announcement

The following is an excerpt from the City of Charlottetown’s online announcement dated Thursday, December 16:

Residents, stakeholders and local businesses are invited to have their say on the City of Charlottetown’s 2022/2023 Annual Capital Budget. Community members are invited to provide comments on what they would like to see reflected in the upcoming budget. The input will help to inform Council’s deliberation of the proposed budget, ahead of approving the final budget. […] This year, written feedback is being accepted until 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday, January 14.


2. How the City and the media failed the public

The City

The online announcement appeared on that Thursday in “News and Notices” on the City’s Web site. Whoever missed it for the time it was on the main screen would have no knowledge about the call for public input.

What’s more, the budget consultation invitation is not featured on the Home page. Mainly because there is no section on the home page to promote public engagement. A curious citizen could do a search using “Budget 2022”.

It would be hard to guess that the announcement is located under Finance in the Mayor & Council section and reduced to two words: Annual Bugdet.

The striking absence of any action by the City to engage and involve the public prompted a query to the City of Charlottetown Communications Officer on Wednesday, January 5: “Was this announced in the media, either through a press release or a public notice? I have not been able to find anything on The Guardian‘s or CBC’s web sites.”

The same-day reply: “A Public Service Announcement was sent to media and community groups on December 16, 2021. I have attached the link to our City news article that is posted on our website.”

A follow-up question “Will a notice (i.e. ad) be published in The Guardian this Saturday?” was sent Thursday morning, January 6, to which no reply was received. [No municipal notice was found in The Guardian between December 16 and January 10]. A second follow-up e-mail sent Monday mid-day, January 10, remained unanswered by the end of the day.

With its one online announcement on December 16, the City has clearly failed in its duty to adequately inform citizens and raise awareness about the annual budget consultation. The administration also failed in its responsibility to verify that the media published the Public Service Announcement in a timely manner.

“Good practice for good governance in a public sector organization involves actively communicating with internal and external stakeholders, inviting feedback (even complaints).”

Public Sector Governance ‛A Guide to the Principles of Good Practice’,
Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia

Whats more, it appears that the City has no established public consultation/engagement process. Or if it does, it applies it in a rather inconsistent manner.

A comparison of other Canadian cities revealed that they begin their public engagement process with a survey and/or a round (or two) of public feedback on the draft budget. Examples from 2020 and 2021 include Regina, Kamloops, West Kelowna, Ottawa, and Quesnel. Kamloops and Ottawa provide a short explanatory video on how city budgets work, and Ottawa even organizes councillor-led meetings.

Conclusion: the City has clearly no defined or recognized participatory budgeting process that reaches all residents.

Perhaps the next administration would be open to following these three crucial things to consider when planning the next budget consultation:

  • Explain the current budget spending levels in an easily digestible way
  • Ask the community about their budget priorities
  • Explain the impact of increased spending [if any] in real terms

The media

Why did CBC and The Guardian not communicate the City’s public service announcement?

The Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Guidelines state, under Accountability:

  • We are accountable to the public for the fairness and reliability of our reporting.
  • We serve the public interest, and put the needs of our audience – readers, listeners or viewers – at the forefront of our newsgathering decisions.

3. The province also has a part to play

A search of the Municipal Government Act, which “provides the legislative framework that is necessary for municipal governments in the Province of Prince Edward Island to create and sustain safe, healthy, orderly and viable communities”, contains all of twenty-seven words with respect to a municipality’s obligation to the public:
Section 151. Public meeting
(1) Not less than two weeks before adopting its financial plan, the council shall give public notice and hold a public meeting in respect of the financial plan.

This Act, passed in 2017, has many gaps and ambiguities. It is in dire need of a thorough review and a serious overhaul to bring it in line with good governance best practices. The Municipal Government Act requires a more robust legistative framework if municipalities are to be truly orderly and viable.


More on this topic:

Watch

  1. City of Ottawa How your city budget works (3 minutes 50 seconds)
  2. City of Kamloops Basic intro to the City and Budgeting (1 minute)

read

  1. Increase participation in local government
  2. Community Engagement in Government
  3. Three crucial things to consider when planning the next budget consultation

For online written submissions, visit charlottetown.ca/budget.


P.E.I. Municipal Elections
Charlottetown Votes
Monday, November 7, 2022

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

Public invited to participate in City of Charlottetown 2022/2023 Pre-Budget Consultations

Posted on the City of Charlottetown’s Web site on Thursday, December 16:

Residents, stakeholders and local businesses are invited to have their say on the City of Charlottetown’s 2022/2023 Annual Capital Budget. Community members are invited to provide comments on what they would like to see reflected in the upcoming budget. The input will help to inform Council’s deliberation of the proposed budget, ahead of approving the final budget.

This year, written feedback is being accepted until 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday, January 14.


What is a capital budget? What is an operating budget?

Capital budget: The capital budget is used for long-term investments like infrastructure and facilities that are paid off over time. It plans for the funds the City needs to build and maintain its hard physical assets, which are intended to benefit citizens across most parts of the city.

Operating budget: The operating budget identifies the funds needed to provide all of the City’s day-to-day programs and services to its citizens. These costs return year after year and include items like staff wages, office supplies and utilities.

The estimates for City Capital Projects in last year’s Capital Budget totalled $31,565,250. The detailed breakdown by department can be a starting point for citizens who wish to submit their input, either to help them identify gaps they feel need to be addressed, or new opportunities that would improve or enhance their neighbourhood, their ward, and/or the city as whole. Another approach could be to suggest efficiencies and ways to reduce spending that still provide long-term benefits.

This is your chance to share what services and spending priorities are most important to you.


The City’s Finance, Audit and Tendering Committee has begun preparations for the annual budget process and will continue to discuss and deliberate the budget in the coming weeks. Following the Committee meetings and public input period, the budget will be brought forward for Council approval at the Special Meeting of Council that is currently scheduled for Monday, January 24, 2022.

For online written submissions, visit charlottetown.ca/budget.


Looking for inspiration? Check out some previous posts:

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

Your first step to building a post-carbon community in Charlottetown

The Canadian not-for-profit Wilderness Committee has launched a nation-wide email writing campaign to urge citizens to contact their local leaders and ask them to get started with building a post-carbon community:

Scientists tell us to maintain a safe climate, we need to eliminate carbon pollution by 2050. That means rethinking the way we move, build, eat and work, starting with bold policies from the bottom up

Communities from coast to coast are working to eliminate carbon pollution. Together, we can build a better quality of life even as we respond to the climate emergency. It’s time.

Imagine Charlottetown ten years from now

  • Parking lots and garages have been transformed into community gardens and affordable housing.
  • Worker-owned restaurants and shops sit side by side along tree-filled major arteries with wide sidewalks and active transportation lanes. 
  • A publicly owned transit service carries people throughout downtown and beyond, free of charge. 

Speak up by using the Wilderness Committeeʼs online action tool (click here) with an easy-to-fill text box and suggestions to help you compose your message.

The first three suggestions fit Charlottetown perfectly. Pick one — or two, or several — add examples or your own thoughts if you wish, fill in your name and address, and click “Send your letter”.

Because of the different municipal council structures across the provinces, a Charlottetown address will trigger a message to the Mayor and the writerʼs ward councillor — and possibly to Charlottetown MP Sean Casey.

Add your voice today!

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

Participatory Democracy

Local government is the sphere of government closest to the people. Many basic services are delivered by local municipalities, and local ward councillors are the politicians closest to communities.

Local government serves a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is the administrative purpose of supplying goods and services; the other purpose is to represent and involve citizens in determining specific local public needs and how these local needs can be met.

Participatory democracy is a necessary complement to representative democracy.

David Moscrop, Canadian author

International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is an international network open to all cities, organizations, and research centres interested in learning about, exchanging, and applying experiences of participatory democracy at the local level.

The IOPD recently held its annual Conference with a focus on sustainable cities/territories. It will also host three two-hour virtual sessions from November 29 to December 1, 2021, in collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

The virtual sessions on Zoom start at 10 A.M. Atlantic time with translation in English/French/Spanish.

To register for any of the three sessions, click here.

  1. Monday, November 29: Citizen Participation in Ecological Transformation
    Local governments must play a key and pioneering role in the ecological transformation of our societies, and citizens cannot be only spectators in this process. In this session we want to share experiences and the steps to follow in order to foster government-citizen dialogue and the co-creation of solutions for the ecological transition.
  2. Tuesday, November 30: Revisiting local democracy
    The impact of the pandemic on democratic institutions and procedures has added to the problems and crises already being felt by democracies. In this new session we want to think about ways to revitalise local democracy such as citizens’ assemblies or other forms of deliberation by lottery, online participation tools, and the debate around digital rights.
  3. Wednesday, December 1: Feminist municipalism and participatory democracy
    The global feminist municipalist movement is a key building block of a better normality towards a renewed local democracy. We want to open this space for dialogue where strategies for deploying feminism and participatory democracy in local politics converge.

More on this topic:

Towards a more age-friendly city

The City of Charlottetown recently held workshops to receive citizensʼ feedback to help it develop an action plan to make it an age-friendly city. An online questionnaire is also available (click here) until Saturday, November 20.

What is an age-friendly city/community?

According to the Government of Canada, “In an age-friendly community, the policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to help seniors ‛age actively.ʼ In other words, the community is set up to help seniors live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved.”

History

In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a Global Age-Friendly Cities guide to help cities and communities to achieve this aim.

The introduction explains why it was developed: “Informed by WHO’s approach to active ageing, the purpose of this Guide is to engage cities to become more age-friendly so as to tap the potential that older people represent for humanity. An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In practical terms, an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.”

WHO also published a progress report in 2018 entitled Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

Age-friendly cities in Canada

Many municipalities across Canada have an Age-friendly Action Plan or an Age-friendly City Plan.

Help make Charlottetown an age-friendly city

You can help with Charlottetownʼs Age-friendly Action Plan by completing the online questionnaire.

The City of Charlottetown Seniors Engagement Committee is looking to hear from seniors on important issues and how to make Charlottetown more senior-friendly. All information gathered will be kept confidential and will contribute to the development of an age-friendly city.

The deadline is Saturday, November 20. Estimated completion time: 20 to 25 minutes.

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

City of Charlottetown: Upcoming events

1. Workshops for an Age-Friendly City

The Seniors Engagement Committee of the City of Charlottetown is launching a series of engagement workshops to obtain input and feedback from the senior and near senior population. The feedback collected will be used to assist in the development of an action plan for an age-friendly city for Charlottetown. An age-friendly community is one where policies, services, and structures are designed in particular to support and enable older people to live in a secure environment, enjoy good health, and continue to participate fully in their communities.

Dates and locations:

  1. Monday, November 1, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Malcolm J. Darrach Community Centre, 1 Avonlea Drive
  2. Wednesday, November 3, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at West Royalty Community Centre, 1 Kirkdale Road
  3. Thursday, November 4, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Holy Redeemer’s Jack Blanchard Family Centre, 7 Pond Street

Pre-registration is required: To register, call 902-368-1025 or email seniors@charlottetown.ca. Participants of the in-person engagement workshops must be fully vaccinated and bring proof of vaccination and a government photo ID to the session.

The online survey is now launched and can be found here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/agefriendlycitycharlottetown
(No deadline provided)

More on this topic:


2. Short-term Rental Regulations

The City of Charlottetown is hosting a public meeting on Tuesday, November 9, at 7 p.m. at the Confederation Centre of the Arts to obtain feedback on the proposed short-term rental regulations.

To attend the meeting in person, you must reserve your seats. Details of the Notice of Meeting and discussion items are listed in the full meeting agenda.

Details of the process, draft regulations, and more are available here.

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

Update (8): St Peters Rd/Angus Dr

The public meeting on Tuesday, 22 June, was called to allow Melʼs Convenience owner Mr MacIsaac to present a Request For Reconsideration in an attempt to persuade City Council to reverse its original 12 April decision to reject the resolution that would have approved his rezoning application.

As a reminder, a Request for Reconsideration [Section 3.15 in the Zoning & Development Bylaw] is permitted when “the applicant or an aggrieved person feels that the decision is unjustified or unwarranted”. Furthermore, “Council shall give all interested persons an opportunity to be heard”.

During this public meeting, the first speaker was Mr MacIsaac, who was allowed to speak for fifteen minutes, starting with a bit of history, and admitting that its becoming a PEI Liquor Agency Store is what has made Melʼs so popular.

The next speaker was Stephen Yeo, the provinceʼs Director of Capital Projects, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. Was his participation necessary and a standard part of a rezoning application reconsideration process? The City clearly believed it was justified and, with Mr Yeoʼs introduction “that a few details werenʼt presented well enough” at the last public meeting, provided him with another opportunity to express the Provinceʼs rationale for constructing “better facilities” and “a better design or more efficient design”. Mr Yeo was allowed to speak for fourteen minutes on how a roundabout at Angus Drive will make driving easier, safer, faster, more efficient, and accommodate tens of thousands of vehicles.

Public participantsʼ contributions were limited to five minutes, with a large timer facing them that counted down the minutes and seconds. How nerve-wracking must this be for a person unaccustomed to speaking in public? Or for someone who may have spent hours composing their written comment, only to be cut off because it took more than five minutes (interruptions included) to read the entire text out loud?

Particularly worth listening to: Angus Drive residents Laura Morgan and Patty Goode.


The fact that East Royalty has expanded — according to its original concept of single-family houses — in recent years without a reliable public transit service has left residents with little choice but to rely on personal vehicles as their sole method of transportation.

The entire St Peters Road project is geared to favour motor vehicles. Indeed, the concerns about safety and efficiency disproportionately benefits drivers. In contrast, pedestrians, cyclists, and other active travellers are left with a fraction of the road space. The public transportation schedule is minimal with two runs in the morning to Charlottetown and two (?) runs in the evening to East Royalty.

Both the Province and the City continue to perpetuate a car-dominated vision with plans for more roads or wider roads. Why are cars still being prioritized? Drivers first, pedestrians and cyclists second? When will transportation planners and policy-makers make public transit/active travel more equitable and inclusive in Charlottetown and on PEI?

While Mr MacIsaac had his reasons to request a reconsideration of City Councilʼs decision to reject his rezoning application, the provinceʼs Transportation Department could have been more creative in proposing “better facilities” and “a better design or more efficient design” that would have benefitted all road users alike. Examples are not hard to find. Instead, a confuse-divide-and-conquer tactic was used that has left residents in two wards on opposing sides, with choices that really satisfied none of them.

As for City councillors, the majority has yet again failed to propose a more equitable share-the-road solution to promote mobility designed for people, not vehicles. In so doing, those councillors have sacrificed the well-being and safety of Charlottetown residents to advance the agenda of a business owner and the Department of Transportation.


The East Royalty Master Plan (pp. 93-155 in the Official Plan) was adopted in 2015. Just as the Charlottetown Official Plan was conceived in 1999 with a vision and strategic directions, so too was the East Royalty Master Plan. Just as the Official Plan has never fully been reviewed since its adoption, so too can one surmise that the East Royalty Master Plan has not been reviewed to take societal and (extreme) environmental changes into account.

In the intervening six years, global warming has accelerated to the point that countless cities have declared a climate emergency, the intent being to set priorities to mitigate climate change. Charlottetownʼs City Council voted unanimously on a resolution in 2019 that recognized and declared the climate breakdown an emergency, yet has implemented few significant measures to reduce CO2 emissions.

Nevertheless, the following sections from the East Royalty Master Plan specifically emphasize walking and the pedestrian experience:

2.0 THE EAST ROYALTY MASTER PLAN
2.3. Vision
Above all, East Royalty will incorporate best practices for sustainability and active transportation, leading to a community that promotes healthy lifestyles. Planning for the East Royalty Area will promote safe residential neighbourhoods that are planned based on the concept of RSVP – Resilient, Sustainable, Vibrant and Pedestrian-friendly.

APPENDIX A
Section 2.2 RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
Residential development within the East Royalty Master Plan will include a variety of housing types that address the street and open spaces to enhance the pedestrian experience.

APPENDIX B. Design Guidelines
Section 2.1 ROADS Ensure pedestrian access throughout the community by providing sidewalks and trails throughout the community; and,
•Promote tree‐lined and well‐shaded streets to create sense of comfort and promote walking and cycling
Section 2.1.1 St. Peter’s Road/Arterial Roads
Arterial Roads will have minimum 1.8 metre bicycle lanes on both sides, as well as minimum 1.8 metre sidewalks on both sides.

2.2.2 Streetscaping for Transit
Seven points including:
Transit stops should be designed to offer amenities such as seating areas and weather protection. Benches and other roadside furniture such as waste baskets, bike racks, telephones, notice boards, newspaper boxes and refuse containers should be concentrated at bus stops along the main street collectors to maximize their utility and create active public space. [Wowza! Where are these dream stops?!]


A report and resolution on Dan MacIsaacʼs Request for Reconsideration is being held during the Special Meeting of Council, Monday, June 28, 2021 (agenda).

CBC report: “Those for and against Angus Drive access road have their say again

Ten Commandments for Changing the World

Written by Angela Bischoff and Tooker Gomberg for The Citizenʼs Handbook

Changing the world is a blast. Itʼs all the more achievable if you have some basic skills, and lots of chutzpah. With apologies to Moses, and God, here are our top Ten Commandments For Changing the World. Try them out on your issue. Have fun!

But first, some inspiration from Noam Chomsky: “If you go to one demonstration and then go home, thatʼs something, but the people in power can live with that. What they canʼt live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.”

1. You Gotta Believe
Have hope, passion and confidence that valuable change can and does happen because individuals take bold initiative.

2. Challenge Authority
Donʼt be afraid to question authority. Authority should be earned, not appointed. The “experts” are often proven wrong, they used to believe that the earth was flat! You don’t have to be an expert to have a valuable opinion or to speak out on an issue.

3. Know the System
The system perpetuates itself. Use the tools you have; the telephone is the most underrated. The Internet can be of great value for research as well. Learn how decisions are made. How is the bureaucracy structured? Who are the key players? What do they look like? Where do they eat lunch? Go there and talk with them. Get to know their executive assistants. Attend public meetings.

4. Take Action
Do something, anything is better than nothing. Bounce your idea around with friends, and then act. Start small, but think big. Organize public events. Distribute handbills. Involve youth. Itʼs easier to ask for forgiveness after the fact rather than to ask for permission. Just do it! Be flexible. Roll with the punches and allow yourself to change tactics mid-stream. Think laterally. Don’t get hung-up on money matters; some of the best actions have no budget.

5. Use the media
Letters to the Editor of your local newspaper are read by thousands. Stage a dramatic event and invite the media; they love an event that gives them an interesting angle or good photo. Bypass the mainstream media with email and the world wide web to get the word out about your issue and to network.

6. Build Alliances
Seek out your common allies such as other community associations, seniors, youth groups, labour, businesses, etc. and work with them to establish support. The system wins through Divide and Conquer, so do the opposite! Network ideas, expertise and issues through email lists. Celebrate your successes with others.

7. Apply Constant Pressure
Persevere; it drives those in power crazy. Be as creative as possible in getting your perspective heard. Use the media, phone your politicians, send letters and faxes with graphics and images. Be concise. Bend the Administrationʼs ear when you attend public meetings. Take notes. Ask specific questions, and give a deadline for when you expect a response. Stay in their faces.

8. Teach Alternatives
Propose and articulate intelligent alternatives to the status quo. Inspire people with well thought-out, attractive visions of how things can be better. Use actual examples, whatʼs been tried, where and how it works. Do your homework, get the word out, create visual representations. Be positive and hopeful.

9. Learn From your Mistrakes
Youʼre going to make mistakes; we all do. Critique — in a positive way — yourself, the movement, and the opposition. What works, and why? What isnʼt working? What do people really enjoy doing, and do more of that.

10. Take Care of Yourself and Each Other
Maintain balance. Eat well and get regular exercise. Avoid burn-out by delegating tasks, sharing responsibility, and maintaining an open process. Be sensitive to your comrades. Have fun. As much as possible, surround yourself with others (both at work and at play) who share your vision so you can build camaraderie, solidarity and support. Enjoy yourself, and nourish your sense of humour. Remember: you’re not alone!

So there you have it. Tools for the Evolution. You can easily join the millions of people around the world working towards ecological health and sustainability just by doing something. With genuine effort, and some luck, a sustainable future may be assured for us and the planet. Go forth and agitate. 

If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that’s something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can’t live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people that keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.

Noam Chomsky

PUBLIC MEETING 27 April: New building at 199 Grafton Street

On April 18, a concerned resident wrote:

I found a notice taped to the side my community mailbox on Prince Street about this Public Meeting yesterday.

It took a lot of effort to find this notice on the City’s website – not in News and Events and barely visible at the bottom of the small square for April 27 on the meeting calendar due to other postings for that date.

This is a big building and has potential to set trends downtown yet again.  Going for many height and setback variances.  When you read the Planning Board meeting, the only rationale I could see (so far) that he [developer] is giving for the extra bonus height is … ‘housing’ (on top of a parkade which was the main selling point in his news release).

If you want to read exactly what is written on the lime green notice, it is now available under Upcoming Events on the City’s home page.

To quote/paraphrase Dave Meslin: “The City of Charlottetown clearly doesn’t want you involved with the planning process, otherwise their ads would look something like this [below], with all the information laid out clearly. As long as the city’s putting out notices like [above] to try to get people engaged, then of course people aren’t going to be engaged. But that’s not apathy; that’s intentional exclusion.” 

A clear, comprehensible, and inviting public meeting notice.

Following Meslins example, homeowners created their own sign in an attempt to inform neighbouring residents, many of whom are tenants.

A clear, comprehensible, and inviting public meeting notice.

If a homeowner can provide such a clear, comprehensible, and inviting public meeting notice, why cant the Planning Department?


The full meeting package (49 pages) contains APMʼs Site Specific Exemption application with drawings and images, the letter sent to property owners located within 100 metres of the subject property, and copies of the public notices (posters and newspaper ad). A separate folder contains letters received until today, with likely more added after the public meeting.

If you decide to see and hear what the plans are for 199 Grafton, tune in on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be streamed live at www.charlottetown.ca/video

Public Meeting: West Royalty Transportation Master Plan

Background

The words “traffic study” and “traffic master plan” were used interchangeably last year during the North of Towers, a.k.a. Sherwood Crossing, rezoning application meetings. Despite requests by citizens for a copy of the traffic study, the City consistently refused, partly on the grounds that the two were not connected, partly because it would call a public meeting in future. In a 6–3 City Council vote on December 14, 2020, the rezoning application for the future Killam/APM development located within the traffic study area was approved.

On April 13, the City announced that the Public Works department is hosting a public consultation on Monday, April 26 at the Homburg Theatre (Confederation Centre of the Arts). The purpose is to provide prepare a final West Royalty Commercial Area Transportation Master Plan based on public input received during a one-meeting, two-hour ‛consultation processʼ.

When a slide presentation of the traffic study was released to the public in February, it bore the title SDU & Area Vacant Lands—Transportation Master Plan.

In March, when the Draft Final Report posted on the City’s website, it was renamed West Royalty Commercial Area—Transportation Master Plan.

What is a Transportation Master Plan [TMP]?

It is a document that guides a municipality’s transportation investment and activities, and typically uses a strategic framework that incorporates the Cityʼs vision, feedback from the community, and an analysis of transportation challenges and opportunities.

The City of Courtenay, B.C., (2016 pop. 54,157) presents an excellent example with its completed 2019 Transportation Master Plan.

Transportation … or Traffic?

The Transportation Master Plan document created by CBCL, whose mission“is to provide world-class engineering and environmental services” (no Transportation Planning in its list of ‛Solutionsʼ), states the following in the Executive Summary:

Note fourth line: ‛to forecast the growth of vehicular travel demand’

Nearly 35 pages are filled with details of the traffic analysis zones and roughly 40 pages with traffic data.

What about other modes of transportation?

Section 4.2. Active Transportation: “AT design focused on the human experience will positively influence mode choice among residents and visitors, and help to reduce the negative effects of a transportation system dominated by motorized vehicles.”

Section 4.3. Transit: “Future roadways and development site plans within the study area should be designed with transit connectivity in mind include adequate lighting and signage at stops; safe, comfortable shelters; and good active transportation connections.”

Section 4.4. entitled Sherwood Residential Area appears to have been added to soothe local residentsʼ fears about increased traffic. (Not a joke.)

The cover letter to Scott Adams, Manager of Public Works, states:

CBCL Limited (CBCL) is pleased to present the findings of this comprehensive study of vacant lands adjacent to the main commercial area of Charlottetown. We understand there is increasing pressure from several property owners, primarily north and east of the Charlottetown Mall, to obtain City approval to move forward with various development plans. The main objective of this Transportation Master Plan is to assist City staff by providing strategies for future development and street connections to the existing road network needed to support this growth.

Posted: April 19, 2021 | Last Updated: April 22, 2021

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