Pe­ti­tion paves the way

Central Leader - - News - By Su­sana Talagi

Doug Wester and his dog De­nali might have to en­dure one more win­ter of flooded foot­paths. But he’s not com­plain­ing. Mr Wester, the or­gan­iser of a pe­ti­tion to get the paths in his street re­paired, is thrilled to hear they will soon be fixed.

Pre­vi­ously he has driven his dog to an­other area where it is eas­ier and safer to walk.

Other Canal Rd res­i­dents have taken sim­i­lar ac­tions be­cause of the poor con­di­tion of their foot­paths.

“It’s like a patch job all the way up the street,” Mr Wester’s wife Larissa says.

And things gets worse when it rains and the area floods.

The West­ers have spent the last four years try­ing to have the foot­paths up­graded.

They put to­gether a pe­ti­tion signed by 70 of their neigh­bours which has helped swing the Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board into ac­tion.

Mrs Wester, an aca­demic man­ager at Auck­land Univer­sity’s psy­chol­ogy de­part­ment, says the im­prove­ments will be much ap­pre­ci­ated.

“We’d make jokes about hav­ing to take ei­ther a small dinghy up the road or a row boat, or putting your waders on to get up the street,” she says.

“There’s a child­care cen­tre in the area and you’d have to push your pram on to the road to get around some of those enor­mous pud­dles.

“I hope the board will hon­our what they’ve said.

“We don’t want this to slip off the sched­ule.

“We’d just re­ally like to see a safer and more en­joy­able street to live on.”

The West­ers have lived on the Avon­dale street for five years and started an email group in De­cem­ber to rally sup­port.

“There was so much in­ter­est from peo­ple on the street,” Mr Wester says.

Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says the street will be the next in Avon­dale to be re­paired.

“Its foot­paths are pretty bad,” he says.

“Up­grades to Canal Rd are booked in for the next fi­nan­cial year.”

Mr Macdon­ald says work could start as early as Au­gust de­pend­ing on the weather and con­trac­tors.

Photo: EVOTIA TAMUA THOMPSON

Step­ping up: Doug Wester is de­ter­mined to see Canal Rd’s foot­path im­proved for ev­ery­one.

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