This letter is to advise the many Yamba residents who contacted me in relation to the need for more safe and uncluttered pavements in our town, that Clarence Valley Council is to appoint a new and special safety officer to oversee, among other things, our streets, cycle paths and shared walkways.
I was, fortunately, able to speak to the Council’s Acting General Manager at the Council’s well-attended ‘meet and greet’ the residents in Coldstream Street last week. Ms Laura Black kindly gave me ample time to express the residents’ access difficulties and said a new appointment would be made to ensure the Clarence Valley would become a safer place for elderly walkers, children and women with prams.
Some months ago, you published a previous letter of mine dealing with difficulties many people were experiencing with uncontrolled speeding cyclists on the river and wall walkway, the lack of bell ringing when approaching walkers from behind and the desecration of some the Council’s warning signs. Since then, I have received a host of further observations from numerous townsfolk that they often feel unsafe when out and about.
As I explained to Ms Black, many members of our elderly community have problems with businesses encroaching on pavements beyond the ‘one meter from shopfront’ rule. There are also at weekends and holiday times too many impediments for the easy passage of mobility scooters, walkers and prams, and including cycles, skateboards and electric scooters ridden recklessly and illegally on pavements by adults.
When questioned about not ringing their bells when approaching people from behind, cyclists claim that this essential equipment is not on their machines when bought.
Serious concerns have also been raised about blind corners to drivers and pedestrians alike at certain town street intersections and the provision of vehicle parking spaces alongside pedestrian cross-overs which often result in drivers reversing into crossing pedestrians.
Another common complaint is the presence of dogs on and off leashes on Main and Turner’s beaches, totaling ignoring the Council’s‘ no dogs’ signs. A similar situation is to be found on the river wall walk where many dog owners allow their animals to defecate without any attempt to clean up the mess or carry the necessary bags.
As I explained to Ms Black, most of the problems could be solved by increased and bigger signage, particularly for tourists and visitors not knowing our Council laws and directives.
One also needs to add that Clarence Valley Council has been far better for Yamba in most respects compared to the previous pre- amalgamation Maclean Council. The fact is that Yamba is no longer a village and now needs big town access needs.
Oscar Tamsen, Yamba