Publication:

Manawatu Guardian - 2021-06-10

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Call for playground fences to keep children safe from cars

NEWS

Judith Lacy

About a dozen submitters to Palmerston North City Council’s 10-Year Plan want playgrounds fenced to keep children safe. Cathy Gibbs asked for a fence around the Milverton Park playground. “It is such a popular park but so close to the road,” she wrote. “I worry that parents with a few children may have a hard time keeping track of them and there is a high risk they could run out on to the road.” Diana McDonald says: “Milverton Park is terrifyingly close to two busy roads. I cannot take more than one of my children there at the same time because it is too much of a risk.” Kylie Marshall wants fencing around playgrounds, especially those next to roads. In a summary of the 717 submissions received on the plan, council staff comment that fencing the playground at Milverton Park would impede the natural play features of the wider play area. Fencing the play triangle between Ferguson St and the large line of trees would cost $110,000. The staff comments say fencing playgrounds is an increase in level of service that would require additional funding. Grayson Jackson wants the council to build more bus stops to help increase the use of public transport. Christian Wingfield-Smith’s idea is to make public transport more appealing by adding cultural patterns to buses — each bus could be a different culture. “Adding patterns of certain cultures could make people of that culture feel more welcome here and that’s exactly what we want.” Matthew Sorrell asks that the i-SITE in The Square be upgraded to make it more approachable. Margaret McKenzie would like a covered bandstand in the centre of The Square for busking and small bands to attract people into the area. Ian Thompson is concerned about the council’s Palmy branding. “If the council has any ideas about changing the name of Palmerston North it should be put to the residents in a referendum beforehand and not be the result of a dictate from organisations like the Geographic Board or, worse still, weather [presenters] on TVNZ.” Jan Shaw says the city’s footpaths are uneven. She cannot enjoy a walk as she is always looking down, and has fallen twice. Mio Petch says another pedestrian crossing is needed on Vogel St as many students need to cross the busy road. Cyclist Bruce Lockhart is appalled at the state of Vogel St and says the major arterial route has been getting worse for years. Hugo Early suggests building gates that go up and down at traffic lights so when the lights go red no one in a car can run the red light and people can be safer when they cross. Karyn Sharp asks is there no law as to the upkeep of buildings in the central city? She says if the T & G clock was going and the building itself was cleaned “it would be another unique piece of Palmerston North history that deserves to be brought back to life and in doing so would start to restore life back into our city”. Sue Ryan had a suggestion on council communication. “Use the Guardian and the Manawatu¯ Standard to communicate council ideas, projects, suggestions and ideas and achievements. Not everybody has a computer or a mobile phone or access to internet or neighbours.” Noel McCormack wrote that private motor vehicles should no longer be allowed to be parked in the CBD and the railway land should be converted to a carpark with mini bus shuttles used to ferry people into the centre of the city. The council is deliberating on plan submissions this week and will then consider a draft of the final 10-Year Plan on June 23.

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