This is a copy of the letter I sent to the Editor of the Peterborough Examiner earlier this week. We need to get Old Norwood Road, MacFarlane and Maniece open again.

An Open Letter to the Mayor and Members of City Council,

I am dismayed and perplexed by the lack of communication or consultation regarding the detour routes to accommodate the 8-month closure of the Warsaw Swing Bridge on Parkhill Road. Since the closure on October 5, I have heard from countless business owners, and residents – in both the City and Douro Dummer Township – who can’t understand the decision to close MacFarlane, Old Norwood and Maniece to through traffic. The City’s Official Plan classifies Maniece as High Capacity Collector which by very definition can be expected to accommodate up to 500 vehicles per hour. This closure sends a clear message that East City, and by extension the Downtown, is not open for business. 

Since the closure of these three streets, there have been numerous attempts made to talk to members of City Council individually and have requested meetings with you and your staff to work together to find an adequate solution. It seems however that there is little interest on your part to explore possible solutions. 

During these times when small businesses need support more than ever before, it is hard to believe that you seem to have little interest in keeping access open in and out of East City and the Downtown. When your own Council declared a Climate Emergency, it is hard to believe that you would close three roads to divert cars further out of their way. It is hard to believe that when families are struggling to manage new routines and schedules to get to work, appointments and school that you would further complicate their lives unnecessarily.

Your Worship and Council, this can be solved by reopening Old Norwood Road and Maniece. By restricting trucks from traversing these roads and by putting temporary signals at the Liftlock Tunnel and MacFarlane Street Bridge. Further that police resources can be used for enforcing speed, distracted driving and aggressive driving on these roads rather than carding for local residency.

At a time when there are enough problems in the world, let’s find a solution so we can support the businesses and residents in our neighbouring communities.

Sincerely,

Heather Watson, Douro Ward Councillor