Steep steps a ‘shambles’
Ray Brown is hopping mad about the ‘‘ridiculous’’ public access path next to his home.
The spritely 89-year-old Pukerua Bay resident has lived in his Muri Rd home for more than 60 years. He loves the community and the views.
But his mood has soured since 2013, when Porirua City Council rebuilt a public accessway next to his home. The footpath finishes outside his driveway, and pedestrians used to go up steps before continuing on a path above the road.
In conjunction with a home being developed next door, the access changed to two sets of steps that went higher than before. The upper set finishes at a gate.
‘‘It’s the most ridiculous set-up I’ve seen,’’ Brown said. ‘‘You have to walk past a letterbox that sticks out in the first lot of steps, then go around a corner and you’re confronted with these steep things. They’re totally useless. Going down them is scarier.’’
Brown said elderly people he knows won’t use them and he sees pedestrians walking up the road instead.
The Public Access sign was not obvious and pedestrians thought they were going into the neighbouring property.
‘‘I’ve seen couriers and other delivery people look up, scratch their heads and walk away. People are not sure what the heck is going on because it looks like a private entrance.’’
Adrian Ramage, Porirua City Council’s acting general manager of environment and regulatory services, said Brown was fully consulted during the consent process.
Brown signed an approval form and was shown a copy of plans in advance, Ramage said. Consents could not legally be revoked once granted.
‘‘The council has taken Mr Brown’s complaints seriously and met him several times to discuss his concerns,’’ he said. ‘‘The steep- ness [of the steps] was determined by the presence of trees and alignment of the bank.’’
Ramage said another pedestrian route was possibly just months away.
‘‘We have been working with the [Pukerua Bay Residents] Association to provide better access in Muri Rd and to calm traffic. Once this solution is agreed and the work completed, Mr Brown will be able to cross the road safely and use a flat path at road level.’’
Ray Brown below the upper section of the public access steps that he says are far too steep for people to use. Inset, the public access route next to Brown’s home.