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Easy route for GDC, not for public

Opinion Piece

?The current proposal is to extend the Oneroa cycle/walkway to the Waipaoa River. However, rather than follow the coast, it is proposed that the extended cycle/walkway will cross to the Olympic Pool, cross Stanley Road and then cross Centennial Marine Drive back to the coast at the Millennium wall to the Pipe carpark. So many unnecessary crossings of busy roads which could be avoided with planning and foresight.Gisborne District Council has two main reasons for not continuing along the coast.First, the pathway would need to continue in front of Midway Surf Club. Second, no new construction is allowed in the sensitive foredune area.My counter to that is, what is the difference between Waikanae and Midway Surf Clubs? Waikanae has co-existed with the cycle/walkway so why can’t Midway? Both are only busy in summer; the rest of the year there is seldom anyone there.Fair enough not starting any new construction in the foredunes, however what is wrong with utilising the existing sealed areas that head southwest towards the Pipe carpark? To me it’s just a matter of relocating, or in some instances just re-marking, these areas back towards the road as there is plenty of room.Wouldn’t it be a marketer’s dream to sell to tourists a pathway between the Turanganui and Waipaoa Rivers without crossing a single road? A trip to the Millennium wall, not so much! I hope Gisborne District Council is not taking the easy route and penalising this and future generations for its lack of prudence. Maybe some of our new councillors with drive and vision could take up the challenge.Bruce Cowper