Us­ing a go­pher opens up a world of trou­ble

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

MUCH is said about the lack of safe pas­sage for cy­clists but noth­ing has been said about the safety of those of us who have to use a mo­bil­ity de­vice i.e. “go­pher”

Un­til last year I did not need a mo­bile de­vice to help me walk or a foot­path to get me from A to B and there­fore had not no­ticed or pos­si­bly cared too much about ac­cess for those less for­tu­nate than my­self in re­gards to get­ting about.

My ex­pe­ri­ences in the past few months have made me aware as to the state or the non-ex­is­tence of our in­fra­struc­ture.

Many streets have no foot­paths and those that do have paths are lit­tle bet­ter than tracks. Th­ese paths have lit­tle or no re­gard for those us­ing mo­bil­ity aids. The paths are also shared with or com­man­deered by cy­clists who in the main do not show any con­sid­er­a­tion.

For oth­ers, per­haps the hand­i­capped are not sup­posed to use the foot­paths, be­cause th­ese have no mark­ings on them to say oth­er­wise.

In many cases, the dif­fer­ence in height be­tween road and path­way at crossovers is up to 100mm. The an­gle of the foot­path to the house crossovers is 30 de­grees and peo­ple park their cars in the crossover, thus forc­ing pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and mo­bil­ity scoot­ers on to the road.

Where there is no other ac­cess and you are forced on to the road you of­ten re­ceive abuse from car driv­ers.

Where traf­fic lights ex­ist, lit­tle time is al­lowed for a safe cross­ing and to be caught in the mid­dle is­land of a main road is far from pleas­ant.

Rub­bish bins, large waste bins and build­ing ma­te­ri­als are placed on the foot­path and to ne­go­ti­ate th­ese pedes­tri­ans, moth­ers with prams and small chil­dren, cy­clists and “crip­pled “old b******s” have to go on the road­way.

One sug­ges­tion that will alert coun­cil­lors to the prob­lems faced is to let coun­cils hire a few “go­phers” and make those who de­cide th­ese things go for a ride on them us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided. Ray Peake, Bel­mont.

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