Abbotsford residents call for footpath

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No footpath . . . Friends (from left) Leo Reid (7), Kaitlyn Leonard (7) and Hannah Leonard (5), all of Abbotsford, walk up Matthew St. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Abbotsford residents are calling for a pathway to be installed in Matthew St.

Edward St resident Amanda Reid was concerned about pedestrians’ safety as they walked up and down the top part of the street, so wrote a letter to her neighbours asking for their thoughts.

The street, which is connected to Edward and Paterson Sts, has yellow lines painted on one side.

Mrs Reid said she wanted her son Leo (7) to be able to safely walk to the playground by himself when he got older.

They regularly walk to school and used to take the steep steps at the end of Edward St, but Mrs Reid recently had a baby and they were not suitable for a pram.

She noticed that elderly neighbours were constantly walking up and down the street as well, so thought a pathway would be a good option.

Mrs Reid is a Greater Green Island Community Network worker and liaises with the Dunedin City Council regularly.

She asked the council if there were any plans for a pathway and was told there was not, but if the community supported it then the council could look into it.

So, when it was safe to do so according to the Government guidelines, she put a letter in about 100 letterboxes.

It was a great time to do it because people had been out walking, running or biking during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, she said.

About 20 people have contacted her to support the idea.

“A lot of people are saying it would be great if the kids could get to the playground without walking on the road.”

Of all of the responses she has had, only one person has said they have never had a problem with traffic on the street.

The Dunedin City Council was unable to investigate the options fully because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We are now in a position to do this; however, the street is narrow with banks on either side so a standard footpath is unlikely to be viable, but we certainly hope to be able to do something to keep pedestrians safer,” a spokeswoman said.

A potential option could be to mark an area for pedestrians, and when council staff have completed the investigation they will decide if that is the best option.