Footpath to Nowhere: shared path access to the Tomakin shops.
For many Tomakin residents, what should be an easy walk to the local IGA supermarket is complicated by incomplete pathways. Alison Worthington, says it’s an issue that locals have previously raised directly with council and via the Tomakin Community Association. “It’s been like this for years and it’s time the path was completed, including safe access to the shops from the pathway,” she said. “There is no safe footpath or bicycle path access. The supermarket is not accessible to prams, wheelchairs, mobility scooters or people on bikes without using the busy carpark entrance that's also used by vehicles turning in from George Bass Drive. “This lack of safe access is a problem for both local residents and for the large number of visitors that use this area. It discourages people from walking or cycling those short trips to the shops, trips where the use of a car could be avoided,” said Ms Worthington. “The Eurobodalla Pathway Strategy 2017 identifies this as an existing shared pathway: ‘Tomakin Shared Path - from The Moorings along George Bass Drive and along Sunpatch Parade,’ only it doesn’t exist as a complete shared path to the destination at The Moorings.” There is a shared pathway for pedestrians and people on bikes from Tomakin via the new roundabout, but it stops north of the supermarket, about 100 metres short of the The Moorings car park entrance. The last 100 metres to the shops is uneven, often muddy, has numerous trip hazards like tree roots, and only gives access to a steep slope and a flight of steps for pedestrian access, pictured. The roadside reserve between George Bass Drive and the carpark has recently had a sewer main installed but no works were done to complete the shared pathway. Ms Worthington, a Greens candidate for the upcoming council elections, said that “Council’s Pathways Strategy prioritises safe walking access to schools and commercial centres but this doesn’t guarantee that residents will have that access provided any time soon. “If elected to council, the Eurobodalla Greens will prioritise the completion of paved, shared pathways that are accessible to a wide range of users, on these essential community routes. We’ll do the same for the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2017-21. Access for people with disabilities is an important step in becoming an inclusive destination for local residents as well as for our regional tourism industry. Incomplete pathways just aren’t good enough. “We need to commit to creating walkable neighbourhoods. Making walking and cycling the most convenient option for short trips to the shops is also a way for us to ease congestion on our roads and reduce emissions,” Ms Worthington added. “We need to ensure that accessible and inclusive shared pathways are available for residents to make these small trips to the local shops possible without needing a car.”
Above: Eurobodalla Greens candidate and Tomakin resident Charlie Bell on the incomplete footpath in front of The Moorings complex in Tomakin.