By foot, by bike – you’re on track
It’s never been easier to get around Mt Roskill on foot or bicycle, with a new cycle and walkway being officially opened this week.
The Walmsely-Underwood pathway is the brainchild of the Mt Roskill Community Board and runs for 1.3km alongside Oakley Creek.
The board has been working on the pathway through Walmsely and Underwood parks for seven years and also funded a design for a full redevelopment of the park.
The combined path and tree planting cost $840,000.
“It’s very exciting,” says board chairman Richard Barter. Every time I go past, I see mums with pushchairs using it.”
He had hoped to see the pathway opened about four years ago, but it was delayed while investigations were done to make sure the new bridge would span Oakley Creek if it was made larger to deal with stormwater.
He says a lot of people in the area don’t have vehicles and use the new path to walk to the Wesley Community Centre or the Owairaka shops.
“Now they can walk through a beautiful park. There’s been a whole lot of tree planting done.”
The increase in foot traffic will also help stop criminals using the reserve to get into neighbouring properties, says Mr Barter.
Board member constable Nigel Turnbull says in the past, the park has been used as a hangout for young criminals but a greater public presence will deter any bad behaviour.
“Because of the volume of community members using it, they will be discouraged and if people see anything untoward, it can be reported.”
He says the pathway has enhanced the area and it is a positive development.
The idea is for the threemetre wide pathway to help create a safe cycle and walking route from Memorial Park on May Rd to Mt Roskill Grammar.
“We will virtually have 8km of off-road cycle and walkways around Mt Roskill.
“There aren’t many places in the country that have that kind of connectivity in a suburb,” says Mr Barter.
He says the long term plan is to get safe road crossings at each end of the pathway on May Rd and Dominion Rd to help link up with other walkways, including ones in Keith Hay Park and State Highway 20.
“It’s a community asset. It’s people being able to feel they can get places without using a car.”
Members of the public are invited to attend the pathway’s official opening on Saturday from 2pm at 164 Richardson Rd.
Tea, biscuits and barbecued sausages will be provided.
Free wheeling: Mt Roskill Community Board chairman Richard Barter makes use of the new Walmsely-Underwood pathway.