Peterborough This Week Asks: Does Peterborough have the infrastructure it needs to grow?

In this article yesterday in Peterborough This Week,  Joel Wiebe explores a recent report on projected growth for the city and county of Peterborough.  One of the main themes of the piece is the need for improved traffic movement in the city and the debate that just won't die: The Parkway.
Facing a 13 per cent population growth and only a four per cent employment growth, he (Jeff Leal, MPP) says reflects the City's demographics, with many retired residents here and more on the way.

MPP Leal points out it also shows increased commuters using services like the Go buses.

The City's director of Utility Services, Wayne Jackson, says it is up to councillors to determine what is too congested for a road. Is an extra 15 minutes in a commute acceptable?

"Time is money for businesses," he says of possible economic impacts.

He highlighted Mayor Ayotte's comments about people heading down residential side streets if the roads get too busy. This leads, he explains, to angry residents.

Good alternatives need to be found, he adds, whether it means expanding or altering current roads to allow more traffic to be handled or to entice people use different roads.
I can't believe I agree with Coucillor Peeters, but:
Councillor Patti Peeters has a simple answer -- build The Parkway.

"Why are we still talking about The Parkway?" she asks. "Because we need one."
This is something I've been vocal about in the past.  Click here for my letter to the editor, and here for a response to that letter about the Parkway.  Councillor Peeters is absolutely right, we need the Parkway and it should have been built 50-odd years ago when the land was assembled.  Roads identified in the print edition of the paper as congested or in danger of congestion included: Monaghan Road, Parkhill Road, and Fairbairn Street.  Sounds suspiciously like the route one would take if the Parkway existed...

Route taken by many city residents today.

Parkway Route as envisioned by city planners 50 years ago.

Of note is that the route most people take today, along Clonsilla, up Monaghan, across Parkhill and then north on Fairbairn, is primarily through residential areas.  I know, because I regularly use this route because there is no alternative.  These are mostly two lane roads built 50 - 70+ years ago when average traffic counts were likely less than a third of the volume seen today.  The people that live on those streets must curse those politicians of the past who didn't have the will to see this road built. 

Not one of those streets was designed to handle the volume of traffic that they see every day.  As a result of driving so much traffic through those residential streets, there are far too many lighted intersections.  The amount of stop and go traffic in a city the size of Peterborough is inexcusable.  Where are the environmentalists on this issue?  I thought that constantly starting and stopping your car was terrible for the environment?  I thought sitting in an idling car was bad for the environment; did I miss something?

I've said it before, I'm saying it again:

Build the Parkway. Now.

Update: There was a really good letter to the editor in Peterborough This Week on February 9, 2010 that supports what I've been saying: Build The Parkway

Nicely put Mr. Bayly!


Constantine Isslamow January 28, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

Build The Parkway. We need leadership not politics.

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