Today, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Teresa Panezutti and I walked again along the beautiful Langstaff Eco-Park, to which we in the Concord West community are denied direct access.
We had to cross extremely busy Highway #7,
go along truck laden traffic on Bowes Road
and follow Rivermede to enter the Eco-Park.
What a relief to be away from dangerous traffic and from pounding the pavement to reach these peaceful safe pathways. We met cyclists and passengers enjoying the outdoors; these people work in the area and have been provided with pleasures that are denied to Concord West residents who have lived here for more than 40 years. We are paying taxes to provide safe outdoor access to people who might not even live in Vaughan.
Reaching Langstaff Rd., we then walked back to Highway #7 through the Bartley Smith Greenway
and climbed up the hill to Highway #7 adjacent to Angelo’s Garden Centre. There is no other way to return home but along #7 with speeding traffic by our side; at one point a stone hit my leg, a reminder to be aware of speeding cars. Then there is the CN bridge that we had to go under, even more dangerous since there is only a curb to walk on. I cannot possibly take my grandchildren for a walk along this route for fear that the flying stones could cause them injury.
Officials are concerned about “beautifying” the neighbourhood with planters on corners of our streets, yet no one has any consideration for people who live here who have no safe access to green space east of us nor to the Bartley Smith Greenway or Langstaff Eco-Park? We are caged in and not included in Vaughan’s “Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Study.” Yet for years the question has been raised why the Concord West community is denied safe walking and bicycle access to those greenspaces. Even the bridge that existed at one time over the Don has been removed, visible foundations are still there for building an inexpensive small bridge for Concord West residents.
I invite any of you to walk the route described above to actually feel the frustration and anger – when a 5-minute walk through the green space east of our community would connect us directly with the Bartley Smith Greenway and we would feel safe away from traffic.
Note: The photographs illustrating this report were taken by Julie Seemann, Brennan Caverhill and Alexandra Correa at the actual locations mentioned in it.