MOBILITY scooters and pedestrians will soon be locked in a dangerous competition for space along the Banna Avenue footpath but a local business owner has a plan to fix it.
As the population ages mobility scooters will become more common, adding to the congestion caused by outdoor dining settings according to owner of Abest Bicycles Milt McFarlane.
Mr McFarlane claimed his plan will also provide safer conditions for cyclists who risked being hit by drivers reversing out of the 90 degree parking spaces and opening their doors without looking.
“Eventually due to the proliferation of mobility scooters and to enhance safety for cyclists we need to get rid of all the kerbside parking on Banna Avenue,” Mr McFarlane said.
“I don’t know why council let all the outside eateries bottle-neck up the footpath for prams and mobility scooters, but my plan will free it up making it safer for everyone involved.
“Council will need to make the centre parking 45-degrees which allow cars to go around other cars that are pulling out and eliminate dead space.”
Mr McFarlane said under his plan, Banna Avenue would still have more parking spaces than Wagga’s main street.
Local mobility scooter driver Sue-Ellen Firth said the idea was a good one because trying to navigate her way up and down Banna Avenue was extremely difficult.
“The tables and chairs along the main street are very hard to dodge, especially at busy times when there are a lot of pedestrians to avoid as well,” Mrs Firth said.
“I would probably feel a bit safer on the footpath rather than the road but the idea is worth looking into because something needs to change.”
The chairman of the city’s transport management committee Simon Croce was willing to accept any suggestions to improve traffic flow – though he said council was bound by red-tape.
“There aren’t any formal suggestions on the table at the moment but the council is always looking to improve things, just like any business,” Mr Croce said.
“The problem with Banna Avenue is that the Roads and Maritime Services own the road, meaning they have a very big say in any change.
“As a result, sometimes commonsense solutions are tied up in red tape but that is not a complete barrier to change if the idea is good enough.”