Parkway decision to go around Jackson Park viewed as victory, says activist

PETERBOROUGH The decision by Peterborough City Council to see any future Parkway extension go around Jackson Park, not through it or over it, should be considered a great victory, according to an activist.

James Burrett says he’s “very happy” about the motion initiated by Coun. Margeree Edwards and approved by council, which dictates that no road will go through -- or over -- Jackson Park. But in addition to this decision, a referendum on building The Parkway at all will be held at the same time as the municipal election this November.

The question will be: "Are you in favour of building The Parkway at an estimated cost of $17.6 million?" For the referendum to be binding, more than 50 per cent of eligible voters must cast ballots.

Although he acknowledges the fight to save other aspects of green space is not over, James says his group – Beyond The Parkway – will still be around to fight any new infringement of green space as the development moves along.

“Our group will be involved in the whole process. What most people don’t understand is that a large part of The Parkway is much like Jackson Park itself – Jackson Park is just one part of a long, linear park,” he explains.

James says it is strange that this community has to debate for so long about doing something that would be so clearly damaging to natural space.

“Most cities would give their eye teeth for a linear park through the centre of a city and Peterborough wants to build a road on it. You might as well drive a stake through the heart of the city,” he says.

Only three council members voted against this -- Mayor Sylvia Sutherland and councillors John Pritchard and Doug Peacock. All three said an Environmental Assessment would determine exactly where the route should be. As it stands now, instead of going through or over Jackson Park, it will go around the park, using existing Parkhill Road and Fairbairn Street.

You can find more information about the group Beyond The Parkway by visiting them online at www.beyondtheparkway.org


“Most cities would give their eye teeth for a linear park through the centre of a city and Peterborough wants to build a road on it. You might as well drive a stake through the heart of the city.”

— James Burrett,
Beyond The Parkway

   
 

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