SOMETHING NEW has appeared in Shepherd Street. It’s long and sort of green, and there’s stuff growing in it. It appeared some time during the past three weeks but, now, it’s replicated and has become two. Who knows how many will be there over the next couple of weeks?
The appearance may be linked to the removal of a couple low verge gardens that locals had built around tree bases. The problem is that low verge gardens can be a trip hazard, especially to pedestrians with limited sight.
The new, long and sort of green verge gardens solve that problem. At 45cm in height they are above trip height; at 80cm wide they leave a full 1.5m of footpath for pedestrians; with a 50cm setback from the kerb they allow the minimum distance for people to open their car doors and get in and out; at 2.4m long they leave plenty of space at either end for people to access the road; and being made of solid timber planks bolted together they are sturdy and presentable.
They are, of course, the work of the Sustainable Chippendale crew who, left to themselves, would probably populate the small, inner urban enclave’s footpaths with vegs and fruit trees, native plants and herbs. In fact, down Myrtle street way they have started to do this.
Like Michelle Margolis’ raised verge garden in Marrickville, what the new Shepherd Street planters demonstrate is the application of thought before construction, thinking that takes the needs of all footpath and road
users into account.