Eti­quette signs keep park users on track

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

Man­ners may maketh the man but one New Zealand coun­cil isn’t tak­ing any chances af­ter it un­veiled plans to erect spe­cial eti­quette signs.

Walk­ers and cy­clists us­ing the Tay­lor River Re­serve in Blen­heim will soon be pointed in the right di­rec­tion when it comes to mind­ing their Ps and Qs.

Main­tain­ing good eye con­tact, ringing cy­cle bells in a timely fash­ion and mov­ing aside to al­low oth­ers to pass are mea­sures which have been rec­om­mended with good man­ners in mind.

Dubbed Tay­lor River Eti­quette, the new signs will high­light the im­por­tance of shar­ing the path­way as the num­ber of users con­tin­ues to grow.

With wind­ing path­ways span­ning about 4.6km of the river, the re­serve is a pop­u­lar area for walk­ers and cy­clist, of­fer­ing walk­ing and bik­ing access from Riverside Park to Brayshaw Park.

But with 231,795 peo­ple us­ing it a year, ex­tra ef­forts have been made to en­sure every­one gets along am­i­ca­bly.

Re­serves and ameni­ties of­fi­cer Robin Dunn says while the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple were cour- teous when it came to us­ing the path­ways, the signs would be put up as a friendly re­minder.

There had been two com­plaints made to coun­cil re­cently re­gard­ing con­duct.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant to share the paths with care and be con­sid­er­ate to oth­ers. Cy­clists can do this by warn­ing peo­ple when they are ap­proach­ing and slow­ing down.

‘‘Keep­ing left will also im­prove safety for all path users whether they be walk­ing, bik­ing, on a mo­bil­ity scooter, wheel­chair, or on rollerblades.

‘‘It’s all about cour­tesy and mak­ing eye con­tact. Cy­clists should ring a bell if they’re com­ing up be­hind walk­ers; walk­ers can move on to the grass if nec­es­sary, or the cy­clist can. Dogs need to be kept un­der con­trol,’’ he said.

Sig­nage will be in­stalled along the path over the com­ing weeks to en­cour­age every­one to fol­low the Tay­lor River eti­quette. The coun­cil is also mak­ing new sec­tions of the path wider to en­hance safety for all users,’’ he said.

Sten­cils will be used on the path it­self to high­light the man­ners mes­sage.

Coun­cil fig­ures show a daily av­er­age of 528 pedes­tri­ans used the Tay­lor River Path­way. Sun­day is the busiest day for walk­ers while Tues­day was the most pop­u­lar with cy­clists, with a daily av­er­age of 269.

The paths are used by many as an ex­er­cise and recre­ation cir­cuit, a safe route to school for stu­dents as well as be­ing a pop­u­lar dog-walk­ing spot.

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