Changing the world… One delayed widening at a time!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
Well, that quote certainly has been proving true in our experience! Our group chose to get involved in the South Keys Centre-adjacent Airport Parkway widening due to its proximity and impact on the Centre’s redevelopment.
We recently shared our letter to the City regarding the proposed widening, and are pleased to share some great news. Thanks in part to the efforts of local associations including the Hunt Club Park Community Association, the Riverside Park Community Association and Better South Keys Centre, some significant modifications are in the works to this long-standing project to reflect a changing world and changing community views on roadway expansions.
As recapped in our last meeting notes, provided by Councillor Jessica Bradley’s office, the original scope of the project included:
- Widening the Airport Parkway from two to four lanes between Brookfield Road and Hunt Club Road
- The construction of a new southbound off-ramp and roundabout at Walkley Road
- Complete street modifications to Walkley Road, between Airport Parkway and McCarthy Road to add cycling facilities and traffic calming
- A new multi-use pathway along the west side of the Parkway from Brookfield Road to Hunt Club Road, designed to be used year-round for people walking and cycling
Through the community consultations for the project over the last few months, concerns were raised especially around widening the parkway as it’s alongside the soon-to-be expanded O-Train Trillium line and seemed to defeat the goal of encouraging more use of transit. In response, a motion was put forward to delay the twinning of the parkway until after the Trillium line has been operational for two years to reexamine the need. This motion would allow for the other elements (the off-ramp, multi-use pathway, etc.) to continue as planned and possibly be built sooner.
Today the motion came to a vote at City Council and it passed! We owe a special thanks to our local Councillor Jessica Bradley for supporting this motion.
This really goes to show what happens when community members come together to voice opinions on their city. We were pleased to connect with and work together with our community partners to send a strong and unified message to the City. And indeed, a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Or, at least their little corner of it!