Media statement, for immediate release
“Footpath damage in the Puketāpapa area is widespread and creating real issues for those walking and wheeling around the greater Mt Roskill area,” says Julie Fairey, Roskill Community Voice candidate for the Puketapapa Local Board.
174 individual responses were logged online by the community through the Better Footpath Blitz run recently by Roskill Community Voice. Most involved cracked or broken footpaths, with many including trip hazards. There were also areas that flooded regularly becoming impassable, drain pipes running under the footpath that were broken or exposed, and areas that needed ramps or pram crossings. All Puketāpapa suburbs had at least one issue logged.
Worrying trends in footpath damage
Trends noted from the issues logged included:
- Footpaths, and pipes underneath them, broken by cars and heavier vehicles parked on footpaths.
- Poorly done reinstatements to footpaths ripped up for utility works (eg installing fibre), especially laying asphalt when previously the footpath was concrete
- Footpaths that had been patched several times over, probably needing replacement
- Construction sites with driveways that had been pulled out, resulting in no footpath outside the property, or an insufficient footpath such as gravel, usually with trip hazards at either end
- Tree roots lifting concrete sections of footpath resulting in trip hazards over time
- Old staple-like bollards in walkways between streets which are too difficult for those with a stroller, bicycle, or wheelchair to get past
- Plants growing in cracks, which exacerbate damage and slipperiness
- A lack of response from Auckland Transport when people had raised a problem in the past
Footpath problems leading to falls, lack of access
Some troubling stories came through the Blitz’ online tool, including the following quotes from locals:
- “…Many accidents have occurred from this slippery mouldy path. Needs a good clean as falling off bikes have caused broken hips etc”
- “My wife tripped on this one, yesterday. Bruising, lacerations requiring stitches to face and hands.”
- “There are problems on both sides of this street. Uneven paths, broken kerbs, trees overhanging the footpath very low that can spike your hair as you walk under them… Lumps of concrete that have been spilt on the path and never scraped off. It’s a route for our walking school bus and lots of kids and parents…”
- “One corner has big hole in the kerb, you could break your leg. Logged this a year ago but no action…”
- “There is a pipe or something broken and it leaks constantly onto the footpath. Because it has been happening for so long, moss and algae is growing on the footpath. It makes it VERY dangerous as it is so slippery. My daughter has slipped right over a few times.”
“To encourage people to move around our community on footpaths we need to ensure it is safe to do so, regardless of age and mobility”, says Fairey.
“We’ve logged all 150+ of these issues with Auckland Transport and have asked them to assess each one and let us know their next steps. Some have been passed on to Auckland Council as they involved stormwater or parks. We’ll be monitoring progress and reporting back to the community through our Facebook page www.facebook.com/roskillcv,” says Fairey.
“Through many years of advocating for footpath improvements, Auckland Transport have told us that local footpaths are generally in good condition. But we know from trying to get individual problems fixed that sometimes it takes a lot of follow-up to even get dangerous trip hazards addressed. We’re hopeful by taking this collective approach, and monitoring progress, we’ll be able to see an increase in footpath maintenance not just for the issues logged but more generally,” says Fairey.
The map attached currently marks all the logged issues as red and we will update this map, hoping to get them all to green, over time.