Steep steps a ‘sham­bles’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.’’

PHO­TOS: KRIS DANDO

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.

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