A WESTERN distributor road has been suggested by Coffs Harbour City councillor Sally Townley as an alternative to the proposed road through Pioneer Park.
Cr Townley suggested the possibility of an alternative city crossing during Monday's peaceful protest picnic at the park.
"I think the priority for Coffs Harbour's traffic... is a western distributor road so people can pass from north to south west of the Pacific Hwy because lets face it that's where the majority of people live," she said.
"There's no way to get easily across from north to south west of the highway - this is not going to make any difference."
While dozens of local residents attended the picnic in support of the park, Mayor Denise Knight was not one of them.
Cr Knight said she was not convinced the park was fully utilised by the community, and had received complaints it was attracting dodgy characters.
"I think it's great they organised a picnic but I drive by the park every day and I never see anyone using it," Cr Knight said.
"If we want to help our businesses in the area the Duke St extension should go through and it's important to remember we're not losing all of it, we're losing part of it.
"I've received multiple complaints it's being used late at night for drug deals, so if we can clean that up then it's a win-win for the community."
But as public exhibition on the permanent road closes, Cr Townley said the park land is an important green space worth preserving.
"The proposal for a permanent road is only of benefit to cars and will have a negative impact on pedestrian and bicycle access in the city," she said.
"Lets face it, they aren't going to build any more parks."
As of Tuesday, an online petition to save the park had 351 signatures, aiming for 500 signatures to take to Coffs Harbour City Council.