Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit
Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit

BFAST joins fight over City plan to pave green space for parking lot

Lawn signs (left) and a 1,000-name petition show widespread opposition to paving green space for more parking.

BFAST has come out in support of nearly 1,000 people who have signed a petition to stop the planned replacement of a running track and green space with a parking lot at the former Robert Bateman High School. BFAST Chair Doug Brown told City Council that the “focus on parking and … lack of any measures to increase transit and active transportation modes is counter to our Official Plan, our Climate Action Plan and our Integrated Mobility Plan.” Brown said, in a brief presented to Council Feb. 5, that “planning for only car access will result in more car use and result in more emissions and congestion.” The former school is being turned into a community centre and the City of Burlington claims the parking lot is needed to accomodate users of the new facility, which includes a satellite campus of Brock University.

Violates City policies

But BFAST and the residents who supported the petition against the move say the destruction of green space for a parking lot would violate the City’s environmental policies and deprive the community of a valuable resource.
Bateman track and green space
An aerial view of the track and green space threatened by the City’s plans to build a new parking lot.
“Our running track and field is more than just a piece of land; it’s an integral part of our community,” says the residents’ online petition on change.org. “It’s where we gather for sporting events, where our children learn to run and play, where we come to exercise, seek peace in nature, where friendships are forged and memories made. To pave over this space would not only be an affront to our past but also detrimental to our future.” The City claims regulations require it to supply a minimum number of parking spaces, but the citizens’ petition disagrees. “Parking requirements of yesterday should never dictate the world of tomorrow!,” the petition says. “The argument in favour of additional parking does not hold water in today’s world. The future lies in mass public transit and ride-sharing services, not individual cars contributing to pollution and increased traffic congestion.”

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