Riverside Rd path crying out for attention

LETTER

Re: ‘Welcome’ garden strip is a mess, February 27 letter.

GDC seems to be unaware of what its contractors are up to with regards to parks and gardens etc.

On Riverside Road, the council spent a fortune installing a barrier along the river, supposedly because the mobility-impaired and pushchair users felt vulnerable.

Soon after, that section slumped further and took months to repair. Then it was planted (at what cost?), only to have the plants overwhelmed by weeds — requiring selective spraying, to the detriment of many of those plants. Now there is the eyesore of metre-high weeds.

But wait, there’s more!

As well as the riverside, the roadside greenstrip is so overgrown that the width of the footpath is significantly reduced — to the point of being less than one person wide in places, let alone allowing wheelchair/mobility scooter users access.

Further along past Russell Street both sides of the footpath are now so unkempt and overgrown that users are encouraged to use the road instead.

Make a complaint to GDC and a contractor appears a week later and re-mows the recently-mown “lawn” area in front of Manners Court, but does nothing to the areas crying out for attention!

Really?! Children, runners and bikers as well as pedestrians use this section regularly. It is only a matter of time before an injury occurs due to the length of grass spanning the entire footpath.

Bring back the good old days when council staff regularly mowed both sides of the road, even the hill-side edge, and the area looked and felt clean and welcoming.

Maybe if we lose our footpath completely, we might get a reduction in rates as well!

Anna Colvin

Re: ‘Welcome’ garden strip is a mess, February 27 letter.

GDC seems to be unaware of what its contractors are up to with regards to parks and gardens etc.

On Riverside Road, the council spent a fortune installing a barrier along the river, supposedly because the mobility-impaired and pushchair users felt vulnerable.

Soon after, that section slumped further and took months to repair. Then it was planted (at what cost?), only to have the plants overwhelmed by weeds — requiring selective spraying, to the detriment of many of those plants. Now there is the eyesore of metre-high weeds.

But wait, there’s more!

As well as the riverside, the roadside greenstrip is so overgrown that the width of the footpath is significantly reduced — to the point of being less than one person wide in places, let alone allowing wheelchair/mobility scooter users access.

Further along past Russell Street both sides of the footpath are now so unkempt and overgrown that users are encouraged to use the road instead.

Make a complaint to GDC and a contractor appears a week later and re-mows the recently-mown “lawn” area in front of Manners Court, but does nothing to the areas crying out for attention!

Really?! Children, runners and bikers as well as pedestrians use this section regularly. It is only a matter of time before an injury occurs due to the length of grass spanning the entire footpath.

Bring back the good old days when council staff regularly mowed both sides of the road, even the hill-side edge, and the area looked and felt clean and welcoming.

Maybe if we lose our footpath completely, we might get a reduction in rates as well!

Anna Colvin

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Anne Salmond - 18 days ago
Dear Anna

Are you aware that Hikurangi Forest Farms have recently proposed using Riverside Road for a period for their logging trucks, because the Mander Road bridge is unsafe - no doubt because of the loads placed on it by forestry vehicles?

Some residents in upper Riverside Road were notified of this proposal via letters stuck in their front gates, and immediately protested to the council that this suggestion is utterly irresponsible. The gravel section of the road is far too narrow, winding and unsafe to be shared between logging trucks and local residents, with too many blind corners and drop-outs right next to the carriage-way down to the Waimata River.

Many children live on upper Riverside Road, and the Wild Lab wilderness education programme, which has been funded for the next three years, is run from the Waikereru Ecosanctuary on upper Riverside Road. The road is also extensively used for recreational purposes - walking, cycling and riding - by Gisborne residents. The safety of all of these people, as well as the road itself, is at risk in the Hikurangi Forest Farm proposal.

The surface and stability of the gravel road have already been significantly damaged by trucks carrying heavy forestry machinery, which block and damage the road when they cannot make it up the steeper slopes in wet weather. More drop-out are likely with increased loads. The bridge in upper Waimata Road is also unsafe, having been undermined in recent floods.

Residents in lower Riverside Road are probably unaware of this proposal, and if it were to go ahead, the state of the footpath might be the least of their worries.

It is very surprising to see a road so close to Gisborne City in such terrible condition. It would be good if in its roading decisions, the council were to give priority to local ratepayers over offshore forestry companies, who despite their PR, cost the community far more in damage to the roading network (as well as private properties and other infrastructure) than they contribute.