A segment of the Taradale community, at odds with the council over its proposal to put a pathway through a reserve backing onto their homes, has been granted a partial reprieve.
At the Napier City Council City services meeting this week, councillors agreed the future design of the 3m-wide shared pedestrian and cycling pathway, along Taipo Stream Reserve between Church and Neeve Rds, would be discussed with residents.
A group from Taradale's Willow Drive fronted up to councillors at the city services meeting this week in an attempt to have a cycle pathway through their "village green" stopped, arguing it would be "aesthetically offensive" and a contradiction to its rural ambience.
Spokesperson John Wise said the jointly funded city and regional council project had been pushed ahead too quickly, with an insufficient number of residents canvassed. The 1.8km strip meandering beside the stream was highly valued and changes would affect the wider community.
When the "precious passive environment" changed, the safety of walkers would be compromised, with the combination of a narrow corridor and a mixture of high-speed bikes with slower walkers, dogs and the elderly.
Concerns about engineering issues, the steepness of some of the terrain and egress onto busy roads were raised.
Not all feedback was negative. Some residents welcomed the proposal, especially if the area became more accessible in wet weather and was used by less active and immobile people.
Deputy Mayor Kathie Furlong said "public space is available to all citizens" and putting in a pathway allowed more people to make a safe choice.
She confirmed the strategy had always been intended for shared-use facilities, because of the difficulty of achieving on-road cycle paths.
The project wouldn't change what the reserve was used for, other than opening it up for wider use.
Councillor Rob Lutter agreed and said providing all-weather access was important, as off-road options didn't always fit and were considerably more expensive.
Councillors Michelle Pyke and Maxine Boag preferred to use the alternative option on Avondale Rd.
"Keep the reserve as it is. We need more green spaces," Mrs Boag said.