Safety reminder as path use triples





Often used as a key transport link in and around the city, or a place to relax and enjoy our green spaces, the Waikato River path continues to maintain its reputation as one of the most thriving places in Hamilton, no matter how you choose to use it. Hamilton City Council is asking Hamiltonians who use the river path to share the space and drop the pace so we can all enjoy what it has to offer: Share the space – Manaki te Atea Please be mindful of others, be aware of what’s around you and don’t forget to look up and smile. Drop your pace – Me heke to tere It’s up to everyone to slow down – whether you’re running, rolling or just cruising. If you’re in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey. It’s a special place – He wahi miharo We’re pretty lucky to have a path with river views running the length of the city. It’s important to continue to respect this stunning environment and the people using it. With summer now here, the path is even busier than usual with more people out exercising, enjoying the warmer weather, and catching up with friends and family. Coupled with a major boost in usage since last year’s lockdowns, the path can often feel overcrowded, highlighting the need for people to share with care, said council transport and urban mobility programme delivery lead Martin Parkes. “Statistics show that traffic on our roads dropped by 68 per cent when we moved from Covid-19 alert level 1 to alert level 4. During this time, river path traffic increased by 172 per cent – that’s almost triple the number of people.” Council and Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust recently completed a safety and wayfinding audit to ensure people can continue to use the path safely while travelling to and from key locations, such as the central city, parks and open spaces. “We think it’s great that people are using this awesome path and enjoying the stunning scenery that comes with it, and council are determined to make it as safe as possible. “With that being said, the path is only as pleasant as the people using it, so please remember to be kind, let people know you’re coming, look up and smile,” said Parkes. Council plans to install new wayfinding and directional signage along the section of path within the Hamilton boundary this year. Shrubbery will also be trimmed to improve visibility, and footpath markings installed to encourage people to slow down around tight corners and at narrow sections of the path.