The Parkway does not take us in the right direction. Literally.
If we listen to City Council, the engineers and Parkway proponents, converting the Parkway Trail to the Parkway Road is critical to our future development. They suggest we MUST have the Parkway to support future residential growth in Peterborough. Even if we assumed for a minute that future growth is anywhere close to what the experts suggest (and we don’t), any solution will have to get people from all of the new subdivisions in the North end to both of the key employment areas of Peterborough.
We don’t think the proposed Parkway does that.
Since we most of us are not experts, let’s look at it in simple terms we can all understand:
The above simple map shows three things (as taken from AECOM’s and the City’s own reports):
- The current and future residential growth areas (the pink zones 1-6)
- The two main employment areas (the downtown and the west end–the green circles A & B)
- The two front runner routes to get people from the pink areas to the green circles (the Parkway in red & Road 3–Fairbairn in green)
Which do you think does a better job of connecting more of the residential growth areas to the main employment areas in the city: the red line or the green line?
Yes, neither of the two are perfect, but it seems pretty obvious to us: The Parkway (the red line) will connect only one, possibly two, of the planned growth areas to only one of the two employment areas in the City. If you live in subdivision 1 and work in green area B you are praying for the Parkway to happen (unless you like to run, bicycle, connect with nature, walk with your kids, &c. &c.). Out of 12 possible combinations (six starts, two ends), the Parkway meets the needs of one (and a bit) of those combinations.
In simple terms, the Parkway, for 67 million dollars (and counting) meets about 10% of our growth transportation needs for northern subdivisions. Yes, one tenth.
Does that sound like a good deal for our tax dollars?
Look at the map. Ask yourself:
Which does a better job of connecting the pink bits to the green bits: the green line or the red line?
And yes, we get neither option does it perfectly. The question here is, which does the better job?
To us, it looks like the Road 3–Fairbairn option (the green line–currently the Engineers’ second choice) does a better job of connecting more of the new growth subdivisions to the places these people will work. It also connects the largest subdivision (#4).
The Parkway is touted as a method to move traffic North-to-South, but it moves traffic across the City just as much as up and down it. Why? Because it was designed as a city by-pass when projected growth was nothing like it is now and it was never designed as a commuter road. In 2013, clearly, it is not a connector to the downtown.
So, why do the engineers still promote the Parkway as the preferred option? And why does Council believe them? Even if you don’t believe in the value of our greenspaces and parks and you just want to get more people from their homes to their workplaces, the Parkway seems like a bad investment of our hard-earned tax dollars.
We are not against development nor are we against cars. We feel that, when ALL the costs and benefits are factored in (in ways that actually reflect the values of all citizens (not just those who drive cars), the alternatives that AECOM or the City seem intent on ignoring are better options for the City’s transportation needs (and certainly for our hard-earned tax dollars).
Help protect the Parkway Greenspace and Jackson Park
If you agree that paving over the Parkway greenspace and trails and building bridges through our parks are bad options you must Act Now and Tell Council! It appears Council may want to ram this thing through approvals by November! Tell your friends about our campaign and send them links to this website.
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Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on the Peterborough Peddler website 2013-05-15. Updated with more recent information.