By foot, by bike – you’re on track

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Free wheel­ing: Mt Roskill Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Richard Barter makes use of the new Walm­sely-Un­der­wood path­way.

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