Little enthusiasm for new look

BILL MOORE
Last updated 12:58 07/07/2014
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MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

BLACK AND BLUE: Vallatini Strada from Italy, made of coloured-glass beads, have been put on the footpath as part of the beautification of Bridge St

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TAKING A LOOK: Mark and Bronwyn Ziolo of Christchurch look at the blue strips of coloured glass beads put on the footpath as part of the enhancement of Bridge St.

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The Nelson City Council's latest effort to improve the appeal of Bridge St brought bemusement from the sprinkling of shoppers spoken to on Saturday morning.

Bright blue bands incorporating tiny Italian glass beads are being painted in different widths across the footpath on the eastern end of the section between Trafalgar and Collingwood streets where bars are clustered.

The council says the bands, designed by Nelson firm Canopy and to be finished soon, will "reduce the impact of all the asphalt footpath and add some colour".

The painting follows the installation of white concrete Spanish seating in the same area, and are part of a $214,000 council spend that also includes planter boxes, bike stands and more lighting.

A further $200,000 has been allocated to enhance the crossing points at the junction of Bridge St and Alma Lane.

But first impressions of the painted strips were not enthusiastic.

"I don't see the point, really," said former Nayland College teacher Grey Tuck, visiting from the Wairarapa.

"Bizarre. I can't see any logic in it. It's not an attractive thing at all."

Christchurch couple Mark and Bronwyn Ziolo said they had been trying to figure out what the paint was for. Told the area has a history of problems at night and had little appeal to daytime pedestrians, they asked, "Will the blue strips stop the fighting?"

The only other walker nearby when the Mail visited, an elderly man, declined to give his name.

"My grandmother used to say to me, ‘If you can't say something nice about something, don't say anything'," was his only offering.

The council says the enhancement work is designed to add interest to the street scene and make it "a more lively experience during the day" to encourage people to gather, chat and feel more at ease.

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- The Nelson Mail

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