The push is on for local groups in Erie that are demanding that the Bayfront Parkway Project be changed.

It’s an effort that has continued for years, but Tuesday night they held a meeting at the Blasco Library in order to talk to residents in hopes that they will sign a petition form.

These groups just want the design to change in order to limit the amount of pollution that the area might get from heavy traffic.

People were busy signing petitions on Tuesday night in an effort to change the plans to the 76 to 86 million dollar Bayfront Parkway Project.

Their main concern is the amount of pollution they said will be in the air from the potential heavy traffic.

“The more traffic along the waterfront, the more pollution. So you are going to have tire dreads that are going to go into the water. Fish are going to swallow it. We have a vibrant fishing industry here that’s going to be affected,” said Juan Llarena, Millcreek Resident.

Local groups that hosted the meeting took action. Connect Urban Erie is supporting the initiative.

The NAACP, along with Pennfuture, supported this initiative back in 2020 when they filed a lawsuit against PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

“They did not give the people of color a voice at the table which is consistent of the history of the construction of the Bayfront highway and east side connector. They have excluded the people of color from decision making,” said Gary Horton, President of NAACP.

“Our concern is that the existing condition of the city is that this highway will not help the city at all,” said Adam Trott, President of Connect Urban Erie.

While Connect Urban Erie is not against the project, Trott said that he wants things changed a little bit to help the community.

“We want to tweak it to slowing down the traffic having a lot of on grade crossing so that people from all over the low side of Erie can just walk across to the waterfront they see,” said Trott.

The petition will be sent to PennDOT to reevaluate the design.

We also spoke with the Press Officer from PennDOT, Jill Harry.

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She said that they always welcome public input about the project, and for the public to see more about this the final designs will be announced on August 24 at 3 p.m. at the Port Authority Building.