Resident wants lighting, council says no
A resident wants to see lights on a nature walkway, but according to council guidelines this could create a false sense of security.
Felicity Wilson, who overlooks Hobsonville Point’s Catalina Bay, said she’d like to see part of the coastal walkway lit discreetly to ensure the safety of pedestrians, as well being an ‘‘added feature’’ for the area.
The portion of the walkway she refers to runs from Catalina Bay to Beach Rd.
‘‘When the new development is open next year, with the cafe and the micro brewery and all that’s happening there, I would have thought it would have added to the attraction,’’ she said.
The Beach Haven resident envisaged discreet solar lighting, possibly on the underside of a railing. Lighting the path was also a safety issue, not only for people out walking but to reduce possible delinquency, she said.
Wilson said since lighting had been installed at Catalina Bay, it had stopped hoons from doing wheelies in the carpark at 3am.
She also pointed out other features not open to the public at night, such as the Hobsonville Point wharf, are lit.
HLC Hobsonville Point Precinct director Robert Graham said the key reason landscape architects who designed the coastal walkway did not provide lighting was due to Auckland Council’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidelines.
To avoid creating a false sense of security, it is recommended that local reserves, parks and playgrounds not be lit outside of daylight hours, and lighting be used on alternative, safer paths.
Auckland Council head of investigation and design Rob Cairns said lighting was not proposed when the walkway’s resource consent was applied for and granted.
Massey University associate professor at the school of people, environment and planning Christine Cheyne said choosing not to light an area to keep it safer could be counter-intuitive.
In mixed-use areas, such as hospitality and residential or employment, people would likely want to use facilities outside daylight hours, she said.
When ownership and maintenance for some or all of the walkway is transferred to council, lighting may be considered in future, subject to investment priorities, Cairns said. Other residents have pointed out the potential impact on wildlife.