Putting residents on the right path is uppermost in the minds of Howick Local Board members – even if it means the right path might only be temporary.
Gravel paths will be built to link existing footpaths in a range of Flat Bush locations.
Board chair Damian Light says $375,000 has been allocated to the Flat Bush Gravel Paths project from the Local Board Transport Capital Fund.
“That fund provides boards with a budget to deliver small projects that are not on Auckland Transport’s work programme. We predominately use it for safety projects.
“Our area has been subject to extensive development in recent decades. Private developers are required to provide public infrastructure when they develop land.
“But sometimes growth leaves one block developed and the public having to wait for neighbouring areas to follow before a continuous footpath is finished.
“Flat Bush has stretches of disconnected footpath separated by long gaps and that means sometimes walkers, cyclists and people pushing prams do not have safe travel options and must contend with either crossing muddy grass or using the road.
“That is particularly concerning when it’s our tamariki walking to and from their schools, so we’re prioritising action in those areas.”
Light says the board received feedback from locals including schools and the Flat Bush Residents and Ratepayers Association that has been used to identify the priority gaps to close on Baverstock Road, Chapel Road, Flat Bush School Road and Murphys Road.
Auckland Transport says adding the paths won’t impact safety or traffic but although the paths will only be temporary, they may be in place for long periods, because in some cases development could take many years.
“We have to accept that some might be replaced soon after they are built, but on the other hand the paths could provide a great deal of community benefit until then. We make no apologies for prioritising the safety of our community.”
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