Aussie council's subtle move to change how locals use footpath: 'Great idea'

Small wave-like markings have popped up on footpaths in a bid to better 'control human behaviour'.

Two footpaths along Paradise Point show have white wave-like markings on them.
The wave-like markings aim to encourage the correct use of footpaths in Paradise Point in the Gold Coast. Source: Facebook

When it comes to using footpaths, there is an unwritten rule that all Aussies should be adhering to. But one beachside council has taken it upon itself to spell it out in order to keep joggers, walkers, cyclists and everyone else on the right side of things.

The Gold Coast council has come up with a simple way to encourage locals to stay on their side of the path and Aussies are getting around the concept.

A local councillor brought attention to the small, white and wave-like lines in the middle of the public footpath at Paradise Point, saying the marking were about "controlling human behaviour".

"Like every shared path in the city, Paradise Point is dealing with an increased demand, including more pedestrians, cyclists, and electric mobility scooters," City of Gold Coast councillor Shelley Curtis told Yahoo News.

"They provide an aesthetic benefit [and] can have a more gentle effect on human behaviour than harsh and traditional compliance measures."

She explained the change was "aimed at improving the interaction between path users" and they were tested during the weekend's park run, a free community event which encourages locals to walk or run five kilometres, after being painted last week.

The ocean-themed lane markings will soon be extended on walkways through the area with the councillor encouraging feedback from locals.

Locals didn't need to be asked twice for their thoughts about the "fresh waves" which have been spotted along Paradise Point, with many praising the simple change after the old lines had long faded away.

"Great idea. Some people need that extra thoughtful direction," one person wrote online. "Nice creative touch!" another said.

Many others agreed but suggested further signage was needed while some even advocated adding some kind of speed monitoring for electric scooters along the popular walkway.

"Great concept – more arrows needed to keep all traffic to the left please," one person commented.

The footpath with Gold Coast beach in the background.
Council has brought back the dividing 'waves' after they faded out of view. Source: Courier Mail

While many praised the council's proactiveness some believe it would take much more than footpath markings to stop some users being inconsiderate of others.

"Just did my usual loop around Paradise Point, had to move off the path twice on the newly painted part of the pathway, to let people walking four abreast with prams and dogs," a woman said.

"Insert people in the left 'lane' having a chat while their dogs on their leads are sniffing the grass off to the right hand side," griped another.

Nonetheless, it's safe to say the subtle change was much better received than one Sydney council's effort this month to slow down electric bike riders by erecting comically large signs along a popular footpath.

Signs aimed at e-bike users have sprung up along a shared pathway in the Northern Beaches. Source: Facebook
Signs aimed at e-bike users have sprung up along a shared pathway in the Northern Beaches. Source: Facebook

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