Council mayoral candidate Tony Judge campaigns for better trails – news of the area
COFFS Harbor mayoral candidate Tony Judge and the Labor Council team have called for more emphasis on the trails in the local government area to improve pedestrian safety and increase the mobility of elderly and disabled residents.
“There is a tendency in political campaigns to focus on big and new policies and developments, but often the biggest benefits in local government come from solving the small issues that are a daily concern for residents and taxpayers. “said Mr. Judge.
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“Trails are one of those areas where good planning and consistent investments would improve the safety and quality of life for so many in our Council region.
“We all rely on the trails to some extent for convenience and safety, but they are an even higher priority for people who are unstable or need access for a mobility scooter. “
Mr Judge said in their case, a well-maintained trail can be the difference between being able to safely access their neighborhood and being restricted to their home.
“However, their attempts to stay mobile and active are often limited by the lack of trails, poor maintenance, or the lack of a safe way to cross a sidewalk at an intersection,” he said.
“Projections show that the number of people over 75 in our region will double over the next 20 years.
“Many of these people will have mobility issues and we should plan ahead for the right kind of infrastructure to allow them to have the best possible quality of life. “
Mr. Judge also notes that the lack of trails in parts of the Council area is a serious road safety issue.
“The provision of trails has not kept up with population growth and increased development in some areas like the northern beaches,” he said.
“This often results in pedestrians sharing narrow roads with increasingly dense traffic flows.
“The security issues arising from this shared use are increasingly frequent and serious. “
As an avid cyclist, Mr Judge has particularly pointed out the dangerous intersection of Pollack Esplanade and Carrington Street in his hometown of Woolgoolga, where he now has to stop to check traffic when driving around the corner. .
“I am concerned about the safety of this corner,” Mr. Judge said.
Mr Judge said the lack of walking trails in the area is also leading more and more people to choose to drive a short distance to their destination, creating traffic jams on the roads and the need for more parking.
“At a time when we should encourage walking more for health and environmental benefits, many people are needlessly forced to use a car for short trips,” he added.
According to Judge, the answer to the problem lies in the planning, construction and maintenance of good quality trails throughout Council territory.
“In an age of growing and aging populations, good trails are not only desirable, they are essential,” he said.
“If we are elected to the Council, this will be a big area of interest for us. “
By Emma DARBIN