Walkways too dangerous to use residents say
An 83-year-old is on a crusade to make her neighbourhood’s walkways safe and her community is right behind her.
When Margaret Caldwell saw a message from Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Chairwoman Julia Parfitt in the Rodney TImes, Caldwell thought she’d finally found someone who could fix issues stopping people using the walkways near her house.
In a call for submissions on the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board plan Parfitt wrote: ’’We all agree that good public transport is essential so that getting to school, sport and work doesn’t take too long. Our walkways and cycleways are essential for improving connections and providing more options for getting around locally.’’
Caldwell contacted Parfitt about the Stanmore Bay walkways that run from Red Hibiscus Rd and Palm Green Court to Whangaparaoa College and Rata Rd where they give access to Rata Reserve, the Raiders rugby league club, Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre, and Stanmore Bay beach.
At one point at the Red Hibiscus Rd end, the pathway is dropping, leaving it on a dangerous angle and, at another point stormwater gathers, covering the path with shoe-deep mud and water, making it inaccessible. Two elderly women had slipped off the path due its lean, Caldwell said.
‘‘This one lady fell off the edge and she rolled down the bank.
Parfitt put Caldwell on to a council official, but Caldwell wasn’t impressed with how she and her concerns were viewed.
‘‘He was 63 and advised me, an 83-year-old women, to get a leaf blaster for myself to clean things up.’’
She was also told concrete trucks couldn’t get access to the area. Caldwell started a petition calling for the work to be done and it was quickly signed by 50 residents. Fellow petitioner Audrey Leggett said residents
‘‘One lady fell off the edge and she rolled down the bank.’’
were very positive about the petition.
‘‘Particularly the ones that have kids that go to the school there.’’
Leggett also wondered about the legitimacy of concrete trucks not getting in.
‘‘How did they do it initially?’’ Caldwell thinks the areas can be fixed easily using jacks to lift the path to level it, and then installing a safety rail. The flooded area could have a boardwalk installed to raise it, she said.
Audrey Leggett and Margaret Caldwell are among Stanmore Bay residents petitioning for Auckland Council to fix up Stanmore Bay walkways.