A sign saying ‘footpath closed’ was in my way as I walked to the Book Fridge yesterday. I’d already jaywalked across the road, and along this ‘closed’ footpath before I got to the sign, so I ignored it, as I do many others of the same ilk.
On my second trip to the fridge (I’m decluttering), as I went to cross the road a man in a high vis vest came running towards me, waving his arms to deter me. He assured me that it was illegal for me to cross near my house and there was dangerous work going on that meant I could be killed. The work was concrete cutters on the opposite footpath, and a noisy suction truck.
I queried how it could be more dangerous for me to cross and walk along a footpath where I would be further from the work than I was standing at my front gate, and he said “it just is”. When I persisted he told me I would be acting illegally to cross there (which I do several times a week). He said I might die, and it was his job to stop me crossing, otherwise he would be responsible for any consquences. I then queried the fact that a car was parked beside that very same ‘closed’ footpath, and he replied that it had been there all day – presumably that meant it wasn’t in danger! While we spoke a woman drove up and parked her car beside the path outside Piko (on yellow lines). He said this was illegal, but didn’t make any attempt to stop her.
I dutifully walked up to the corner and crossed on the pedestrian crossing, and later observed others using the ‘closed’ path without being accosted.
It is this kind of officiousness that has been annoying so many people during the central city rebuild. I appreciate this man had health and safety obligations, but he needs to have a logical explanation rather than saying “it just is”. During the night there were continual noises, and this morning the footpath is clear once more.
“I’m sick and tired of road restrictions
and these unneeded path evictions.”