Opposition to PennDOT’s $100 million Bayfront Parkway Project continues as concerned community members partook in a silent peace walk at Dobbins Landing.
The Bayfront Parkway Project is still a focus for many community members. They hoped to continue to show their concerns about the project’s implications on Erie’s bayfront.
On Monday, concerned community members continued to demonstrate their disapproval of the project. This time with a silent peace walk. Their main concerns revolve around construction having a permanent effect on the health of the water, soil and air on Erie’s bayfront.
“For all of us, this is what really grows our whole community. The whole region really focuses on the water and on the bayfront. We love it, we treasure it, we gather at it, and we really want to protect it,” said Anne McCarthy, coordinator, Benedictines for Peace.
Those in attendance are pushing for another environmental review of the project before work begins. In 2020, it faced a lawsuit filed by community members who requested an injunction to halt its progress, which was dropped.
Those filing the lawsuit claimed that public input has been nonexistent, and the environmental impact study conducted was inadequate and illegal. Penndot didn’t comment about the lawsuit, but Jill Harry, a representative for PennDOT, said that the project remains on schedule despite the lawsuit.
They expect to begin physical work in the spring of 2023.
“We asked PennDOT to do a full environmental assessment. They chose a categorical exclusion, which is lesser than. It doesn’t ask the questions. This isn’t a short-term project. This will be 25 to 30 years that we’ll have to sit here with the results of this. Now’s the time to make changes to benefit the residents and the people of Erie,” said Art Leopold, silent peace walk participant.
The Benedictines for Peace organized the walk around Dobbins Landing. They said that they walked mindfully and prayed for change.