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