It can be a big job looking after two youngsters. A young mum was recently seen behind her pram with another young one in tow on a trike just behind her. We are so fortunate here at Bells Reach/Bellvista to have beautiful parks, great playgrounds and plenty of walking pathways to help us to enjoy the outdoors.
The new Arbour estate will have even more footpaths and parks for everyone to enjoy so it was surprising to see that pathways at Arbour have so few ‘pram footpaths’, places where prams, scooters. trikes, elderly residents with mobility concerns can easily access these wonderful pathways. One such pathway will surround the estate running from Bellvista Blvd and follow the estate’s boundary around to Arbour Park. The pathway is almost completed and is well over 1km in length.
The young mum mentioned above would have a few problems accessing any pathway with her pram and toddler behind on a trike unless there was a ‘pram pathway’.
A pram pathway is a short section of concrete pathway which permits easy access to pathways for prams, kid’s bikes and residents with mobility concerns over kerbs. A pram pathway can be seen in the photo below.
The problem of easy access to pathways is further exacerbated because the roadside gutters beside these pathways are at 90 degrees (‘stand up kerbing’) creating a short step up to access the green verge.
BeCA sought advice from Stockland on the issue and received the following response.
The reason that Stockland use the ‘stand up kerb’ rather than the ‘rollover kerb’ adjacent to the pathways near the school is for safety purposes. For example if a driver is not paying attention, it is much harder for them to mount this kerb and drive onto the pathway putting pedestrians at risk. Residents’ safety (particularly around the school) is a major priority in Stockland’s design. This stand up kerb also deters people from parking on the side of the road rather than in their garage or driveway.
Pram pathways are provided where there is a direct pathway link to another pathway. With all estates having many narrow streets, there are very few pathways. Therefore there isn’t the requirement for pram pathways, only where a direct footpath link is required.
So yes, there is a reason for the low number of ‘pram pathways’ in the Arbour Estate. From the beginning of the pathway on Bellvista Blvd around to Arbour Park there are about 5 ‘pram pathways’, two of which are within 100m of each other just behind the school, a further two pathways are within another 100m of each other at Arbour Park.
It seems to be a case of “you are damned if you do, and you are damned if you don’t” for the developer. In the long run, public safety wins out!