Walkway signs fail to impress some users
"It doesn't really stand out."HUNTER WARD
Users of the coastal walkway are split over the effectiveness of new signs designed to reinforce the "share with care" message.
The black and while signs have been put up near the Wind Wand, Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and Egmont St entrances to the walkway.
But some users don't consider them eye-catching enough.
"It doesn't really stand out," regular walkway cyclist Shane Richardson, said of the sign at the Wind Wand. "When they were on the footpath it was better."
New Plymouth District Council parks manager Mark Bruhn said because of increasing traffic on the walkway and the problem of accidents, it had been decided to erect additional reminders of walkway courtesy at busy areas.
"The signs incorporate our key messages about keeping to the left, going slowly on the walkway and cyclists ringing their bells when they approach other users," Mr Bruhn said.
It is a message Mr Richardson is happy to endorse. "Share with care is the main thing.
"It's mainly when you get big groups of people, oblivious to what's going on around them.
"Just be aware of your surroundings," he said.
Walker Evan Hoskin said the number of people listening to music while using the popular walkway was an additional complication.
"What they need to do is stop people wearing headphones," Mr Hoskin said. "People can't hear the bells on bikes."
Cycle Inn owner Robert Coe believes courtesy reminders are just what the walkway needs.
"When you're walking and someone flies past you, not only is it terrifying, it's damn dangerous," he said.
"You've just got to be courteous. The signs will help."
Mr Bruhn said the council was also using the signs to remind users of the Coastal Walkway to keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after them.
Leads were particularly important between Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and Hickford Park as this is where birds such as the blue penguins were nesting and breeding, he said.
"Penguins have a very strong smell which is very attractive to dogs, and just one bite can kill them, so we need the co-operation of dog owners to keep these birds safe," he said.
Mr Bruhn said the council invited public feedback on the effectiveness of the new signs.
- Hunter Ward is a Witt journalism student
- © Fairfax NZ News
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