Struck a chord

Prue Denner, Castlemaine.

A letter to the Castlemaine Mail on January 25 struck a chord with me and I am sure it did so for many other residents.
Peggy Shaw, the writer of the letter, has her exhibition titled A Retrospective on display at the Castlemaine Art Museum. The exhibition is celebrating the 90th birthday of this outstanding Castlemaine based artist. 
Peggy, so positive, never complains about anything, so we must take her letter very seriously. She wrote about “The perils of a scooter driver”. Thank you, Peggy. It is high time that we, as a community, give more priority to the safety of scooter drivers, who are usually silent aged citizens and people coping with various handicaps.
Might we include elderly cyclists who, like me, ride slowly and tentatively, sitting upright, through Castlemaine. At present we need to be on footpaths because of the danger of riding anywhere else. But as Peggy said, footpaths have ‘sunken drain covers’ and ‘uneven paving’. Danger is everywhere. Sides of roads are bumpy and narrow. Bicycle tracks on the sides of some roads disappear into nothing, and are littered with stones and acorns.
It is an enormous challenge for us when the ground is uneven and edges of footpaths are broken. Speeding, erratic vehicles, leaning closely to us, around street corners on Midland Highway and Duke Street, result in daily death-defying trips to the shops.
I hope that the powers that be, whether they are our own community, Mount Alexander Shire Council or Vic Roads, will soon allow people to be freer to move about without being in cars, and without having to feel like second class citizens.
Let us encourage residents to be independent of cars.
Castlemaine must prioritise excellent, smooth bike tracks, footpaths, and tracks for scooters. Perhaps by going underground or overhead and if beside roads, then well away from car doors and speeding vehicles. A challenge, but essential.

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