Group gets to work cleaning up lanes

2018-05-29 06:00

A working group has been suggested as a means to gather differing opinions over local lanes.

Following an earlier public meeting, ward councillor Dave Bryant suggested the working group.

“The meeting gave those present an opportunity to ventilate concerns and ideas around the management of the Green Point lanes. There were a variety of opinions on the matter and disagreement on certain aspects, but there was a general consensus that more needs to be done to improve the overall safety of the lanes, along with more regular cleaning and maintenance,” Bryant says.

“It is clear that there are very different approaches as to how best to address the matter and it was my recommendation at the conclusion of the meeting that a group of people representing different opinions come forward to see if a more cooperative approach could be pursued.”

Bryant has made funding, from the ward allocation budget, available to clean up Green Point’s lanes, following concerns raised by the community (“Funds sweep clean”, People’s Post, 3 April).

“The cleanliness of the lanes has proved to be an ongoing challenge, as public lanes are only cleaned three times a year in line with cleaning frequencies for residential streets. This project will commence from July,” Bryant previously told People’s Post.

Liz Knight, Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association vice-chairperson and founder of Friends of Green Point Lanes, says a group of volunteer residents have been maintaining the lanes.

The residents have been upgrading the lanes by first clearing building rubble and weeds and then planting drought-resistant plants. Residents living alongside the lanes have been encouraged to also maintain them and use them for exercising and dog walking.

“The objective of the Friends group has been to make the lanes safer for pedestrians than the main roads where pavements in many instances have been appropriated for parking,” she explains.

One of the biggest complaints around the public lanes is litter (including plastic, glass, polystyrene and paper) that is dumped in the lanes, Knight says.

“Some four lanes have already been planted and the Friends have just under 100 signed petitions supporting open lanes from residents who live near or work alongside. Residents have also given financial support to assist with employment to clean and garden the lanes.”

Knight anticipates that the working group will add their voice to that of the Friends to lobby the City to respond to service requests to fix surfaces, remove litter and trim greenery; to enforce the bylaw that builders make good on damage before they go off site; to request residents to respect the process of seeking permission and the bylaws governing the use of lanes during any building renovation; and to pressure police and security companies to monitor the lanes during their patrols­.

Bryant says: “It is hoped that the group will be able to look at how best to improve the overall safety of the lanes and investigate different options as to how best this can be achieved.”

Knight adds that the working group will look to find a “common group among the disparate views”.

“As far as we are aware, the only volunteers who have come forward unanimously support the City’s spatial planning policy of keeping the entrance to the lanes free from obstruction in any shape or form. Those lobbying to close the lanes did not communicate a willingness to be part of this working group at the end of the meeting nor since. The group will therefore continue to further their objectives to increase use of the lanes and ensure that they are clean and safe.”

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