The Parkway doesn’t get us from where we are to where we want to go

The Parkway, as a road, does not address future travel needs

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 aren’t all experts, let’s look at it in simple terms we can all understand:

simplified map of Peterborough residential development areas and target employment areas

The above simple map shows three things (as taken from AECOM’s and the City’s own reports):

  1. The current and future residential growth areas (the pink zones 1-6)
  2. The two main employment areas (the downtown and the west end–the green circles A & B)
  3. 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, as a road, will connect only one, possibly two, of the planned growth areas to only one of the two employment areas in the City (pink area 1 and, maybe, 2 to green area B). So, out of 12 possible combinations, the Parkway meets the needs of one (and a bit) of those combinations.

In simple terms, the Parkway, for 40 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 your tax dollar?

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 and never designed as a commuter road. 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 the Parkway as a trail (which makes this even more of a bad deal), the Parkway seems like a bad investment.



Act Now!
If you oppose the development of the Parkway as a road, you must act! While various groups and individuals are attempting to fight the Parkway through the Parkway Corridor Class EA process, City Council has shown it does not always listen to logic and really only responds to one thing: pressure from voters.

Here’s how we create that pressure:

Support public interest groups
Friends of Peterborough Trails [Website] [Facebook Page]
Friends of Jackson Park [Facebook Page]

Contact the Mayor and Council
Write, call or otherwise contact your council and Mayor Bennett now! Indicate how their vote on the Parkway may (or better yet WILL) affect your vote in the next municipal election.

Find their contact information in our Ptbo Politics page or below are two lists you can cut and paste into your e-mailer, assuming it accepts either the semi-colon delimited and comma delimited format.

dbennett@peterborough.ca; dmcwilliams@peterborough.ca; lparnell@peterborough.ca; hclarke@peterborough.ca; jdoris@peterborough.ca; bjuby@peterborough.ca; dpappas@peterborough.ca; kriel@peterborough.ca; lvass@peterborough.ca; arbeamer@peterborough.ca; bhall@peterborough.ca

dbennett@peterborough.ca, dmcwilliams@peterborough.ca, lparnell@peterborough.ca, hclarke@peterborough.ca, jdoris@peterborough.ca, bjuby@peterborough.ca, dpappas@peterborough.ca, kriel@peterborough.ca, lvass@peterborough.ca, arbeamer@peterborough.ca, bhall@peterborough.ca

No Parkway
This is one of a series of posts outlining Why the Parkway is a bad idea.

16 thoughts on “The Parkway doesn’t get us from where we are to where we want to go

  1. I respect your insights. But I also have to ask, what about ALL the families that live along Fairbairn and the connecting streets, hundreds of homes and families, what about their quality of life? It is a RESIDENTIAL AREA not meant for a four-lane highway! What is the impact of tax payers and residents if they move forward with this proposition! Are you forgetting the fact that they will still need to bulldoze beautiful trees and greenery? Why is it okay to sacrifice the peace of mind for these families and wildlife over the designated parkway? I think this is a one-tracked, selfish, unfair solution to a LARGER issue that the city should address over transportation and urban planning. Bulldozing through a part of our community, in a family neighbourhood of taxpaying residents is NOT the solution. What if you lived in this area, how would you like this ‘solution’? Please put yourself in these peoples shoes….

    1. I live off of Park St near Lansdown and while I am not thrilled with the traffic, I understand it. I have a child and am concerned about her safety there, but I will teach her to be safe, just as the families along Fairbairn already must do with their children. The fact is, Fairbairn is already a highway where people travel at 80km, it’s just not all that wide. I don’t understand how you think it’s better to bulldoze our way through the Park instead of widening an already existing road.

      1. Actually it is not a highway already. Do you live on it? Yes it can be busy during peek hours but afterwards is generally quiet. And yes, people don’t always go the 60km speed limit (which is another problem)….

        Did you know that the widening of fairbairn means displacing (moving) over 27 homes? How is this okay and acceptable to you?

        Have you looked at the greenery and beautiful mature trees along fairbairn and 3rd line? If we widen these roads we are still destructing nature. Not to mention the fact the city just invested $$ putting in sidewalks on fairbairn, in which I should note only goes a third of the way up the hill because there are no city services including street lights past this point.

        Most importantly (I attended all of the city meetings BTW so I have heard all arguments) is that this option above is not SAFE, with the hill and the winding road it will be dangerous, not just for people who live in the area but for the drivers themselves. This to me, is a good enough reason…

        I am opposed to going over or through Jackson Park and consider myself but when people bought their homes they always knew there was a possibility of the parkway in their backyard – it is called the Parkway!

        1. People who bought property in the north end along the Parkway Greenway since the referendum of 2003 had every expectation to believe that the Parkway Road was a dead topic. Council voted to remove the Parkway road from the city official plan. Why didn’t this happen and how did the Parkway road suddenly jump back to the centre of attention?

    2. Actually, we agree. We feel the situation, in regard to traffic, is overblown. Yes, traffic is more than it was in the past, but that is the price we all have to pay for development. We do not buy the “building a bigger road will fix it” argument. Evidence does not support this idea. We believe better traffic controls on existing roads (like speed limit enforcement) and an acceptance that development and growth will inevitably bring some more traffic is fundamental to dealing with the traffic issue. We don’t believe we need four-lane roads. As we have mentioned, Mississauga has a lovely grid of SIX lane roads, yet it still has traffic problems.

      No one likes to see residential areas affected. But does it not make sense to better develop existing roads somewhat to maximize performance, as opposed to destroy our limited greenways? Once it is gone, it is never coming back.

  2. I disagree with you. You OBVIOUSLY do not live in the north end? If you did, like I have for over 23,000 days, you would see we need the Parkway from Cumberland to the Parkway. Let’s not complicate the issue. Let the city fathers decide what’s best for us. It’s time for the Parkway to go through over or around Jackson Park.

    1. I don’t understand the NEED. I see a WANT, but do we NEED to go through the park and ruin that part of our lives to save ten minutes? Please clarify your point.
      And leaving the “City Fathers” to decide things has not served us well every time. Citizens must be engaged as well.

    2. While what we post here about the Parkway issue is generally a collective view (unless it has one person’s name attached to the post), we should point out that several of us DO live in the North End. And for more than 23,000 days (not that that makes our vote more important than yours). We feel the Parkway Greenway is a critical part of making the North End a livable community. Without it, we would be just another ho hum subdivision in any other city in Southern Ontario. Indeed, should the Parkway road go through, we would likely look to move to a neighbourhood that does have trail access.

      As for letting city fathers decide what is best for us, such an idea is so patronising and sexist we couldn’t even consider it. First, last we checked, women were part of the discussion. Further, City Council, on so many issues lately, has shown itself incapable of understanding the full impact of their decisions. Leaving it to them to decide the future of the City is not something we feel comfortable with. That said, it should be pointed out, that, after the citizen vote on the issue in 2003, the then City Council voted to remove the Parkway from the official plan. Why this didn’t happen is unclear. It has been left to the current Mayor and Council to drag this issue up out of the past and put it on the table (without much discussion in the past election, we might add).

  3. Putting the Parkway through Jackson Park will desecrate one of the most beautiful pieces of nature we have left in this city. People didn’t move here for an easy commute. I myself moved here because of the beauty & down home feeling of Peterborough. We have to find another way.

  4. I live in the North end and live there because of the parkway trail. I love the path, the birds, the energy the path offers and the mood of the other people who also enjoy the path. The “city Fathers”- and let’s not forget Leslie Parnell make decisions based on what the people of Peterborough want. They represent us- the community. They are not intended to sit above us, rather they are elected by us to be our voices. My voice is definitely not heard by Andrew Beamer or Bob Hull or the rest of the council.
    Thank-you for the information PtboPeddler.

  5. Thank you to Rob Steinam for all his efforts in pointing out the inconsistencies in the current plan and for all the intelligent comments. I can still remember the northenders being delighted with the Parkway corridor in their backyard and all the extra space it gave them(assuming it was never going to be used as a travel route).
    I will be contacting my councillors and the mayor.

    1. Rob is doing a great job at raising awareness over the threats to trails in general and Jackson Park in particular. There are several others working with him on this. For the latest from Rob and company, check out the Friends of Jackson Park facebook page.

      To clarify, Rob does not write directly for aptbopeddler, although his ideas do align with ours. Rob and several of the crew who who put together ideas and content for aptbopeddler are with the group Friends of Peterborough Trails. Our opposition to the Parkway plans is based on the idea that the Parkway Trail and Jackson Park are critical components of the City Trail system—a system that is a big reason why Peterborough is such a bike friendly city (and a system that is the envy of so many other cities across North America). Which is why we, as cyclists, are joining with Rob and naturalists, retirees, runners, homeowners and others to protect the best of Peterborough.

  6. I too live in the north end of Peterborough and actually back onto the trail, having paid a hefty premium for the privilege. I love the trail; I find it both relaxing and social. We do not need another street paralleling Towerhill in order to save 10 or 15 minutes maximum to get across town and costing millions of dollars (our dollars, not city councillors dollars). Neither Andrew Beamer nor Bob Hull will get my vote, nor those of my neighbours if they support this roadway. More streets crossing Chemong will slow that main street down even more, which is the real problem. If Chemong was widened to include left and right turn lanes at strategic spots the traffic could flow smoother and quicker giving us that north/south route we need. Use this road and leave the residential roads alone. It’s not worth the few minutes we’d save (or not). Toronto copes with heavy traffic and aren’t cutting up their parks to get from point A to point B faster. It’s time we said NO to city council.

    1. Your comment about paying a premium to live near the trail does raise an important issue: trails are valuable. However, the engineers running the Environmental Assessment (EA) process do not appear to want to engage in assessing how valuable trails are to people. This, of course, skews the EA decision towards the “let’s pave the Parkway” answer.

      Last we checked no one ever seemed want to pay a premium to live near a road.

  7. Let’s face it. The Parkway was first proposed in the 1940s. In 1947 the land for the right-of-way was set aside. It should have been built in the 60s. Today, even as an unbuilt road, it is obsolete. A high speed road to join SSFC with Lindsay Road (along the Brealey, Akison, Fife Bay route) and extending Lindsay Road over to Water Street makes far more sense. But, as was the case decades ago, we have a municipal government that studies and studies and does sweet buggerall.

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