Arrow makes ‘keep left’ point
New Plymouth’s Kevin Harvey is a frequent user of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway and can’t sing its praises highly enough.
The retiree often rides his electric bicycle along the ribbon of concrete that spans from near Port Taranaki past the central city, winding up past Bell Block.
‘‘I can go from here to Fitzroy, have a swim, ride it back again and still stay cool.’’
That’s despite being injured in 2016, when he crashed his bike on the walkway near Bell Block. The accident made the headlines, along with his plea urging people to ‘keep left’ when using the track.
Harvey said at that time it could have been avoided if the walkers who were involved followed the keep left rule. Unfortunately his plea seemed to fall on a few deaf ears and the safety issue continues to weigh heavily on his mind.
So-much-so he’s been tempted, but only tempted, to go out one night and spray paint arrow signs himself along the walkway to get the ‘keep left’ point across.
‘‘Someone’s gonna near die, and if I didn’t do anything, we should do, shouldn’t we,’’ Harvey said.
‘‘To my way of thinking, when people learn for their license to walk on the right, which is sensible because you can see oncoming traffic that’s on your side. The walkway is totally different, so people need to be reminded that it’s different.’’
The arrow is a universal symbol and the grandfather said a common sense way to prevent further accidents is simple; a small arrow, painted in white, in the centre of the walkway about every 50 metres-or-so would do the trick. Harvey had gone so far as to mock up an arrow stencil and spray paint it on a piece of board in red. It comprises an arrow in the centre facing ahead with a small arrow that faces left coming out of it. ‘‘It makes a person think, ‘what is it?’’
With regards to the current signs that read ‘share and care’ Harvey said some people don’t know how to share anyway.
Harvey said it is a cheap solution and you don’t have to speak English to read it. ‘‘I’ve just about found the road safer because if you approach a cyclist everybody is wanting to go left, they’re not thinking they’ll ever go right on the road and skittle out,’’ he said.
New Plymouth’s Kevin Harvey want’s walkway users to get his ‘keep left’ point.