Residents slam ‘Pothole Palmy’
Petition calls for improvements to busy Vogel St
Apetition calling for Vogel St to be made safer for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists, received 568 signatures. Petition organiser Rod Pik submitted the petition to Palmerston North City Council as part of its consultation on its draft 2022-23 annual budget. Pik will speak to his submission today. The council received 340 submissions on the draft budget. The vast majority were concerned about not just the council’s proposal to increase its rates income by 8.3 per cent but how this would be apportioned among ratepayers. Submitters gave many examples of their rates increasing by much more than 8.3 per cent due to the increase in their rateable land values last September, pointing out properties owners in lower-income suburbs were most affected. The council says the properties with the largest percentage increase are those with large sections capable of subdivision. Submitters spoke of their properties not being suitable for subdivision and of growing food in their backyards. They also said the QV valuations are already out of date with Palmerston North property values falling. The state of the city’s roads drew a significant number of comments. Catherine Perry said she was absolutely appalled at the state of the roads and that the name Pothole Palmy is very fitting. “How you can justify exorbitant rate increases without maintaining basic services such as acceptable roads defies logic.” Jerome Roberts said he cares about a safer, quieter Vogel St. “It’s an urban area, not industrial bypass.” Stephanie Hedges wants the city more functional for road users and public transport users. “The city is being ‘beautified’ instead of being made usable with potholes and terrible roading in places of low income like Highbury as if they are less important than the rest of the city.” Ava Reidy wants the council to look at improving road quality. “There are roads in the city that keep getting repaired, while roads in much worse condition are neglected, and the condition of these roads is damaging to cars, increasing the number of cars being sent to salvage, and increasing the carbon footprint of the city needlessly.” Brigs Holmes asked the council to fix the basics. “The conditions of our streets, parks and maintenance is making the city look shocking. Weeds growing everywhere, gutters are no longer cleaned, streets are not being cleaned up after storms, branches and debris everywhere, the city is looking so run down.” Francesca Harrison challenged the mayor, councillors and heads of department to get off their “shiny backsides” and drive or walk around the city to see how “truly awful” some roads and foot[paths are. Jill Cheer said Vogel St has without doubt one of the worst surfaces in the city. Janice Neil said the roads are a mess with so many needing fixing. Craig Dunlop said the city should change its name to Potholemerston North. “Driving slalom down Tremaine Ave to dodge the plethora of potholes with their patches on patches on patches on patches on patches I am led to believe that we can’t even get the basics right.” Chye Goh said he had never seen such a state of disrepair in his 20 years in the city. The potholes and patches needed fixing. The council is hearing submitters this week and will debate the budget on May 26 and 27.