Antisocial behaviour in our busy CBD has really been sticking in my craw lately.
Oi, cyclists ... get off our bloody footpaths!
I recently slammed the City of Perth and the Western Australian government for their absolute lack of will in dealing with these issues.
Responses on social media suggest that the issues I raised -- including aggressive beggars, people urinating in laneways, selfish/irresponsible parking and ever-increasing numbers of homeless people -- are common to all capital cities in Australia. I'm keen to hear from anyone who can verify this.
The issue I want to highlight today is how unsafe our footpaths have become.
Read more from Subversive Sam:
As I understand it, it is illegal in all states of Australia for people over the age of 12 to ride bicycles on footpaths and yet this is all too common -- especially in our pedestrian malls.
There are bicycles zooming in and out of people as they try to navigate the Hay and Murray Street malls all the time.
And it's being made worse by the growing number of food-delivery couriers trying to save time as they race up and down footpaths and the malls, leaving it to pedestrians to get out of the way.
In the 1980s and '90s, we had kamikaze bicycle couriers. Today, it's delivery riders forr companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. When they're not on pushbikes, you can spot them on scooters, which they illegally park -- preventing access to buildings, our businesses and driveways.
If it's illegal to ride pushbikes on the footpath, why don't the police and rangers crack down on them. I have to avoid a bike at least twice a week -- and am surprised I haven't yet seen a collision that's left someone seriously injured.
I was led to believe that cities needed to become more pedestrian friendly. The widening of footpaths and opening of malls have helped deliver this, but as the number of cyclists on footpaths increases, pedestrian safety is being eroded.
And don't get me started on the increasing numbers of people -- usually teenagers -- on fast-moving skateboards.
What are the city councils and state governments, and their police, thinking? Are they of the view that it is up to pedestrians to look after their own safety on city streets?
It is bad enough having to keep my eyes open enough to avoid people wandering along reading messages on their mobile phone, but now I also have to watch out for skateboards and bicycles, all because the police and the city rangers cannot be bothered.
Again, this is a case of an entrenched lack of will. This issue could be fixed if the state government, city government and police had the will to sort it. But clearly, they don’t. Perhaps they are busy consulting while working on a strategy -- a strategy for enforcing the law.
How piss weak is that?
There have been many calls by cyclists for drivers to treat them with more respect on the roads. This is as it should be.
Laws protecting cyclists on the roadways need to be rigorously enforced -- but so should laws pertaining to pedestrians being protected on footpaths.
I guess it is easier to plant trees that it is to enforce laws.
What do you think?