I am in the CBD seven days a week. As far as I can see few, if any, of the actual homeless, engage in begging. Most, if not all, of the beggars, are just addicts with expensive tastes.

I have even seen beggars smoking cigarettes while begging. I have seen aggressive begging. Usually, women are the targets.

Begging is a nationwide problem, but Rotorua seems to have more than its fair share. We need to get practical and follow Tauranga's lead and get tough on beggar-addicts.

C.C. McDowall
Rotorua

Courtesy crossings explained

In response to a letter published in your paper [December 12] titled 'Roads in the pink', we would like to clarify that the pink/red strips that cross some roads around the district are 'courtesy crossings'.

The Official New Zealand Road Code explains 'courtesy crossings are not official pedestrian crossings.

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They provide a place where drivers can stop safely to allow pedestrians to cross.

However, drivers are not obliged to stop at courtesy crossings, so use them with care.'

Rotorua Lakes Council uses courtesy crossings along shared path routes as a way to alert motorists that pedestrians, cyclists or people using other wheeled devices are likely to cross at that location.

The bright colour encourages people both in cars and on the shared path route to slow down as they approach.

Courtesy crossings are used around the world and can be identified by different colours, raised platforms or different surfaces.

Formal pedestrian crossings, where drivers must stop for people crossing, are identified by white stripes (on any colour background).

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In reference to the paint at the intersection of Victoria and Ranolf Sts, we can assure Mr Mason that the cost to remedy this issue was not covered by council and contractors will be reinstating the courtesy crossing as soon as possible.

Stavros Michael
Infrastructure General Manager
Rotorua Lakes Council