The Parkway takes another step closer to reality

City Council moves on study leading to the building of more roads on undeveloped portions of The Parkway corridor

Users of Peterborough’s Parkway trail (and I’ll admit, I’m one of them) have cause for alarm as Peterborough City Council moved another step closer to paving over the Parkway greenspace when it voted to move ahead with a Class Environmental Study, awarding the $783K contract to AECOM Canada Ltd at Council meetings Monday night.

This could become another road if City Council gets its way

The City Transportation Plan, approved by council earlier this year, calls for the building of a road on the undeveloped Parkway greenspace sometime between 2021 and 2026 at a cost of $13.9 million. This, despite a city-wide public referendum that indicated the majority of citizens did not want the Parkway. The Parkway agenda seems to continue to be pushed forward by a quiet but assertive minority.

Longtime Parkway booster, the Peterborough Examiner reported that there was no discussion at council and, perhaps, the issue is no longer as important as it once was. More likely is that Parkway opponents have better things to do than attend every Council meeting in case a Parkway issue comes forward. Or perhaps, they are waiting until later in the decade when the issue comes to the fore. Also, as time goes by, shifting demographics and increasing costs of transportation are likely to increase opposition to more roads at the expense of valuable greenspace. Wait and support will likely drop.

But perhaps biding their time is not a good strategy for Parkway opponents. City staff indicated that the study does allow for public input at three meetings over the course of the study. Fortunately, one member of the public did speak up, suggesting, again according to The Examiner, that “The idea of a road through The Parkway corridor is both controversial and of relatively wide public interest”.

Supporters of Peterborough’s parks, greenspaces and trails are going to have to look out for these meetings and let their councilors know their feelings. You can be sure Parkway supporters will be doing the same.

How to contact City Council.