• Tony Bosworth

Sit down for this one…Hawkesbury Council’s latest Parklet idea gets a roasting on social media



Hawkesbury Council took to Facebook today to ask for feedback on its latest idea – a Parklet for Richmond, which they have parked in the gutter on Windsor Street - and oh boy did they get it today.


Some 90-plus residents have commented on the post so far - and few are positive about what the Council calls the ‘Parklet Trial in Richmond Town Centre’.


If you don’t know what a Parklet is – as opposed to a park, which Richmond has a rather big version of pretty much across the road from the Parklet - you can see it in the picture – we’ll let Council explain: “These parklets will be green spaces for the community and shoppers to enjoy along Windsor Street. They will be another place to linger with a coffee, a book or just to relax”.


The trouble is, the Parklet – basically a table and benches with planters in the back of the seats (don’t lean back…) – sits out on the road. Yes, that’s correct, where you would normally park. Or drive.


They tried it in Windsor some time ago and while popular with some – and a photo location for a smiling Mayor Patrick Conolly at the time – it didn’t go down well with all residents. As one said today, “Seriously? You tried this in South Windsor it was a massive flop!!! Why do it somewhere else? Plants died. It was too hot in summer and now you’re going again??”


Others wondered why Council would spend our money – ratepayers’ money – on temporary parklets when there is a lovely park close by, literally across the road.


Here are some of the comments:


“Put them [seats and a table] in the park, not on the road. They will be taking up precious parking spots and will also be dangerous as people will crash into people sitting there eating!”


“How much of our council rates was wasted on this idea?”


“I would like to see the completed risk assessment for this idea. How did you sell this idea to the legal team? I certainly wouldn't be sitting next to the moving traffic.”


“Ridiculous who would want to sit on the road! Dangerous.”


“What a great idea!! Exhaust fumes to go with lunch.”


“I'm usually a fan of out of the square ideas, but this doesn't make sense to me. No shade, takes up what little parking space there is and isn't accessible enough for people with disabilities”


“How ridiculous. It’s hard enough to find parking there as it is!” – so far that one has got 17 likes.


Many people made the point that we have a perfectly good park in Richmond and maybe, just maybe, money could be better spent on that, or even on ways to get to it.


“What a joke!”, said another commentator. “Put seating in a filthy gutter, breath in carbon monoxide and risk kids being hit by cars while there’s a park across the road with beautiful roses and open spaces safely off the road. Here’s an idea, put more seating in the park.”


One of the really-to-the-point comments came from a lady who said,


“Or you could just walk up the road a bit to the nice big park and get some exercise."


"Also, more chairs and tables at the park would be great instead. At least you can sit and drink your coffee/eat lunch, chat with friends etc. while the kiddies can play.”


Another said, “More bench seating in the park would be so much better ….. parking in the Main Street is hard enough, nice idea just the wrong spots.”


“How bloody ridiculous, Why not just put more tables and seats in the open green park.”


The use of ratepayers’ money for this ‘installation’ also not surprisingly came in for some attention.


As one said, “Waste of money. Rates are going on this??”


Which seems a fair question given the Council is in the red, mostly because of additional works due to the March floods.


“No way would I sit on the road with traffic going past me, got to be joking HCC don’t waste our rates on this rubbish,” said another.


“Stop wasting our money on these idiotic ideas and get a proper designer in to take into consideration all needs without removing valuable parking spaces.”


“You really think this is a good idea? The council are a joke. Stop wasting tax payer money like this.”


“What a waste of money,” another commentator said, “could have put in a crossing for the elderly in Paget Street so they can get across to do their shopping”


It wasn’t all bad though – well, mostly it was – with a few welcoming the idea.


One lady said, “It's a nice idea. A plain bench for a short sit down, and somewhere to put our bags off the ground. Easy maintenance too I'd think.”


And another was quite upbeat about the idea, saying, “It’s a great idea to use this as a trial - it only impacts one parking spot and provides a spot for people wanting to have a rest as they walk along the street. The park is a beautiful spot but for some older residents they may appreciate a resting spot on the street itself. Let’s give it a go Richmond!”


And of course there was plenty of Hawkesbury humour too:


“Dopey idea, back to water cooler for more brainstorming.”


And this one:


“Congrats on taking the work experience kid's advice.”


Council says, “Feedback from the trial will be considered as part of a decision on whether to create permanent parklets in the centre.”


We’re just guessing here, but it looks like the feedback is in…





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