Tidy up our footpaths
A Friend’s Place (Social Groups for Older People) in Waihi Beach is concerned about the condition of our footpaths and walkways.
We all know that tripping over and having a fall can be lifestyle changing, especially for older people. As we get older injuries can be serious, and the healing process takes longer. Breaks, sprains, strains and skin tears are common fall injuries, and often mean that we are unable to continue with daily routines and exercise such as walking, fishing, tennis, cycling, golf and swimming. We can lose strength and muscle condition very quickly, not to mention enthusiasm and motivation.
If you are using a walker or mobility scooter to get around the village you will have noticed some of the uneven and angled footpaths. There are cracks, gaps, unusual starting and stopping points, and bumps where vehicles access the driveways. Sometimes we are sharing these paths with unexpected travellers on bicycles and skateboards.
Here are some of the comments from elderly residents:
■ “I was walking along the pavement and next minute some person comes up behind me on a bicycle and scares the living daylights out of me. Why don’t they use bells anymore? Why are they not cycling on the road? It is not easy to manoeuvre these walker machines in these situations.”
■ “Sometimes I am going along with my walker across footpaths that are uneven and cracked and my wheels get stuck and I almost do a somersault. Someone is going to get hurt.”
■ “Riding along on my Mobility Scooter on some of the weirdly angled paths can be dangerous. The scooter goes on a big lean and I have to hang on tight.”
■ “It can be very tricky getting around cars that are parked on the edge of the road and pavement. Why don’t people just park in the correct spaces?”
The other issue facing all of us, young and old, who enjoy walking around the village is the speed and volume of traffic passing through. Often cars are speeding, travelling at 80km in the 50km zones. This is particularly noticeable on
Beach Road coming in from
Waihi, and at
Road where people are heading out towards