THE residents, ratepayers and voters of Powlett Street Inverloch have come together for a common cause – finally getting a footpath for their busy thoroughfare.
It’s been an issue for more than a decade but this time people power has been activated in the form of a petition, signed by all residents of the street and presented to the Bass Coast Mayor Cr Brett Tessari.
The petition calls for a footpath between the Bass Highway and Sandymount Avenue.
The signatories say: “The pathway would eliminate the myriad safety concerns as listed below:
• Dangerous deep cut-outs of neglected driveways along the verge unmanageable for the mobile impaired
• Hazardous uneven surfaces, sloping verges, tree roots, long grass and overhanging vegetation
• The nature strip in winter is boggy and waterlogged
• Heavy load of traffic including Vline/local buses and trucks
• Speed of the traffic coming off the Bass Highway and from Korumburra
• Walkers, mobile scooters, prams and pedestrians walking in the bike lane are forced out onto the road around parked vehicles
• There is no safe pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Powlett Street, Sandymount and Bayview Ave.”
As well as expressing their thanks to Cr Tessari for accepting their petition on behalf of the council, the members of the Powlett Street footpath action group including Vanessa Mills, Narelle Shandley and Brian Ahern have thanked the community for its support.
“We’d just like to say thank you to our neighbours, the residents of Powlett street and generous others who recently signed our footpath petition,” said Vanessa.
“Of course, we chose the hottest day this Spring to door-knock but were invited into homes along the way and treated with respect and kindness,” said Brian.
“Everyone had a story to tell about the impact of not having a footpath has on them, from
families with newborns to others with mobility issues,” said Narelle.
“Those who are housebound, unable to leave the house for a short walk at the risk of a trip or fall touched us deeply. Many people remembered pushing for a footpath 12 years ago to no avail. Without exception we were thanked for our efforts, commitment and passion.
“Also, thanks to the kind man in Woodland Cottages who revived us with bottles of iced water which was very much appreciated,” they said.
“We all agree Powlett Street is a unique street feeding into town from the Bass Highway carrying a heavy load of vehicles from pushbikes, cars and trucks to buses so our need for a safe footpath for residents is very different to any other street and cannot be compared.”
To emphasise the gravity of their problem, they said the State Government would be
installing new side road activation speed reduction technology and safety barriers in Powlett Street later in November because of the “high risk, busy, high-speed road” leading up to the roundabout.
They say this underscores concerns about the area officially has high crash potential and pedestrians need to be protected as well as drivers.
Cr Tessari congratulated the group on their proactive response to a problem in their area, promising to table the petition at council.
The petition will hopefully be tabled for the November meeting or the February meeting at the latest.
The group’s next step will be in April 2020 when they respond to the call for public budget submissions and perhaps have the opportunity to present their submission at the May 2020 council meeting.