I am not disabled but I find that the coast walk from Bondi to Bronte is almost impossible to negotiate – there are so many stairs to climb, steep and worn stairs, that I have only ever walked it once.
The walk is beautiful but the stairs are just too much, they put me off wanting to attempt it again. With Sculpture By The Sea coming up, how many people will miss out on seeing this event because of the stair issue.
Adam Long’s film ‘Bondi Roller Coaster’ featuring his friend Justin, highlights access improvements that could be made to the path, allowing the walk to be enjoyed by many more people.
Adam said “Justin’s path is intended as an improvement for everyone, not just wheelchair users. We’d like anyone who struggles to climb those stairs to have better access and to allow parents with babies in prams to walk along the coast.”
Adam explained that the idea began more than three years ago when Justin, who lives in Bondi Junction, received a flyer in the mail from Waverley Council inviting everyone to enjoy the coastal walk. He’d have loved to, if only it was accessible. Justin’s crusade began.
Adam went on to say he was the first of many people to think it was an impossible dream, as there are just too many stairs. The day after talking with Justin, he went for a walk along the coast and realised how simple it would be. Everywhere there are stairs, the path could simply follow the contour line, crossing a couple of small bridges and climbing or falling gently. There are several bottlenecks on the busy path, surely the most used and best loved of it’s kind in the whole country. Justin’s path would improve access and safety at these points for everyone. They were not talking about getting rid of the stairs, so the runners and power walkers who have no trouble with them can continue to use them; in fact it would be better as the slower walkers and rollers would be on the stair-free stretch of the path.
They took their idea to Waverley Council and after collecting hundreds of signatures on a petition, they were allowed to present to a Council meeting, receiving a unanimous vote of support, but were told the Council had no money for the project.
The coastal walk is a resource for all of Sydney and vast numbers of international visitors walk along it every day, so State or Federal Government should contribute to the access improvements. Justin and Adam have met with the local members, both State and Federal, and have tried to get Council co-operation so they could pitch to private investors. What do you think?
Their film “Bondi Roller Coaster” can be viewed on YouTube Sandra Tiltman