Bruce leads a walking tour of Woy Woy’s lumpen eyesores

Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer

Forum –

I think that Council CEO, David Farmer, must go everywhere in a car, if he thinks that Woy Woy can be transformed into a walkable neighbourhood any time soon (“Council CEO wants community to embrace high-quality high density”, PP037).

He has, perhaps, not noticed that most of the streets don’t even have footpaths, pretty much an essential for walking, one would have thought.

I had to walk two blocks to the bus last week, so I had to walk in the street and, because the pavement was flanked by large puddles, I had to walk almost in the middle of the road.

This meant that, when a vehicle came by, I had the option of being run down or of jumping over the puddles and getting as far up the verge as I could, to avoid being drenched by spray from the passing car.

I’d say that’s about as walking-unfriendly as it can get, and, at the present rate of progress, it will be at least 40 years, before Woy Woy sees kerbed and guttered streets throughout.

Even in the streets that have a grudging sidewalk, walking in summer is a highly unpleasant experience, because there isn’t a shade tree in sight.

The only shadow is from the electric-light poles that obviously take precedence over attractive and functional landscaping.

On top of that, one takes one’s life in one’s hands to walk, because of the constant danger from cyclists riding (illegally) on the narrow-paved strip.

There is more to a walkable neighbourhood than just providing a footpath: all aspects of traffic have to be taken into account, from conflicts with bicycles to street crossings against vehicular traffic.

I’d suggest that CEO Farmer needs to visit Radburn, to get some idea of what is involved in creating an environment where people not only can walk but also want to walk.

Of course, CEO Farmer’s vision is linked to redevelopment of Woy Woy for high residential densities.

We should, he says, welcome high-quality, high-density buildings in the neighbourhood, but, since we have yet to see a high-quality high-density building in Central Coast, most people will be hard-pressed to envision exactly what he has in mind.

They might, also, be rightly sceptical of Council’s capacity to do anything but crowd the neighbourhood with the typical lumpen eyesores of flat blocks that maximize developer profit at the expense of any visual delight.

A pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood can’t be created by trusting to developer initiative and luck: it would require leadership, imagination and the expenditure of funds from the Council.

At present, Woy Woy is a dog’s breakfast.

It’s difficult to imagine why anybody would want to walk in Woy Woy, traversing ugly streets and battling trucks, buses, cars, bicycles and mobility scooters to get nowhere worth going to.

The only focal point in Woy Woy is the railway station, and that is practically inaccessible on foot, except by climbing the clocktower building and using the pedestrian bridge.

I think CEO Farmer will have his work cut out for him.

Email, Nov 28
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy

1 Comment on "Bruce leads a walking tour of Woy Woy’s lumpen eyesores"

  1. David Joseph DRAPER | December 6, 2021 at 4:54 pm |

    Hyland hits it spot on. Does it not stand out like the proverbials that the reasons are simply, that we actually do not have a fully functional Council administrative, complete with a fully functional staff for all divisions of Council duties In short, no staff. from top to bottom of the list. Why ?, because obviously there are no finances available. Perhaps it could be asked of someone in what must be the skeleton of staff in our Council’s Offices, Please provide a comprehensive list of all current and employed staff on Councils books and their duties.

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