Today’s Mark the Park exercise was successful — if quite alarming. Lots of people came out to see and show the scale of this proposed road.
What we did: we measured 26 metres out from the retaining wall, to see how wide the minimum required right-of-way actually is in Fluhrer Park. The road itself need not be 26 metres wide, but the drawings in the 2006 Environmental Study Report show sidewalks going to the full extent of the 26 metres… and what with sidewalks, bike lanes, and a road wide enough to handle 70 km/h speeds, it’s hard to imagine it much narrower.
What we found: the only part of the park that would remain is the part right near Metalcraft Marine, where the land widens out towards a point. At the narrowest stretch of the park, the roadway would take up the ENTIRE distance from the retaining wall to the water. Here, the path would become a sidewalk sandwiched between the river and the road.
Bryan Paterson says that this road will increase neighbourhood access to the water, and wouldn’t it be pretty to build a pedestrian bridge… well, to what? It is very hard to imagine how the Wellington Street Extension could be built in a way that would retain any of the charms and habitat of the current park.
Thanks to Bruce, Jane, Sylvain, Anne, Sayyida, and Mary for invaluable assistance; photo credits go to Mike and Irina. More photos and video to come.
— Laura Murray