Parks and Open Space Master Plan
The new master plan is promising. The transition from a density-based standard of one tot lot per 70 single-family homes to a spatially based standard of a neighbourhood park within a 10 minute walk of most homes should allow for major improvements in suburban areas of the city. I'm also encouraged by the emphasis on a network of interconnected parks and open spaces and the identification of gaps in the existing trail network.
The proposed east gateway to Bowring Park is at the top of my wishlist. I toyed with a similar idea during an engineering project and came up with a tunnel beneath Pitts Memorial Drive connecting the Southbrook Walk to Bay Bulls Road near the bus stop and seniors' home on the corner of Cemetery Lane. That would allow a cycle path with a manageable 7-8% grade. Upgrading the Southbrook Walk to a mixed-use trail between the tunnel and Beacon Hill Crescent would allow cyclists access from Kilbride to the T'Railway or Waterford Bridge Road via Bowring Park Road or Grieve Street.
The high priority the plan places on a hypothetical neighbourhood park for Rabbittown seems odd given the neighbourhood's proximity to Lions Park and Kelly's Brook Park. The current sites of The Hub, Coleman's grocery store on Merrymeeting Road, and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Aldershot Street seem like the only realistic possibilities for a future park in Rabbittown proper. Improving pedestrian links through Rabbittown is more important in the short to mid-term. Removing the fence and building a public path from Freshwater Road to Suez Street, and building a public path from Empire Avenue to Kelly's Brook Park near the foot of Sulva Street should be the top priorities for Rabbittown.
The "non-conforming" ball field in Victoria Park must go. The disused ball field near Holy Cross Elementary would be a suitable replacement after upgrading.