City at crossroads about path

A group of residents want the City of Wanneroo to remove a path it has started to build in Mandal Close. d421894
A group of residents want the City of Wanneroo to remove a path it has started to build in Mandal Close. d421894

Three residents asked questions about the proposed Mandal Close path at last week’s council briefing, and told the Times they did not understand why there was a recommendation to install it when the majority of people living in the area opposed it.

City’s infrastructure director Dennis Blair told councillors work had started on the first section of the path last December, following a request from one resident.

Mr Blair said the initial consultation involved three affected residents, but concerns were raised once work started, and he had site meetings with councillors and residents earlier this year.

As a result, the City agreed to carry out broader consultation, sending 82 survey letters to households in the walkable catchment area, with 31 responses received.

The survey asked residents whether they supported and would use paths on Mandal Close and Ramsgate Retreat, with about a dozen people saying yes and about 18 saying no to each question.

‘There wasn’t an overwhelming rejection of the pathway link,’ Mr Blair said.

Resident Paul Goodley told the Times 62 per cent of respondents opposed the path, and the City had agreed if there was opposition, it would remove the work already done.

But the staff report recommended the council approve the paths tonight, which Mr Blair said would improve pedestrian connections between Mindarie Marina and Mindarie Keys shopping centre.

Mr Goodley said there were already three routes to walk to the marina, with another path under construction on the northern side of Anchorage Drive, so there was no need for this one.

Asked by councillor Sabine Winton why, from a safety perspective, they needed a path in a cul-de-sac, Mr Blair said if the City had sufficient funds, he would install paths on every street to protect ‘vulnerable road users’.

He said there was rarely an issue with pathways, but the City would review its footpath policy and he had already made staff walk the routes of proposed paths on the 2014-15 program to ensure infrastructure such as street lights and trees were factored into designs.

Resident Paul Knight asked why the City wanted to spend money on a street where there had been no negative behaviour, because a path was likely to increase pedestrian traffic through the cul-de-sac.

Mr Goodley said he was not aware of any crashes on the road, and he thought the funds, potentially $200,000, would be better spent on paths elsewhere in the City.