The new expansion to the footpath at the edge of Coronation Park is not being welcomed by the Tauranga Society of Artists, who use the street side path as the venue for their ‘Art in the Park’ display.
Works are currently being undertaken to create a four metre wide footpath along the edge of Maunganui Road.
Artists fear they will be marginalised by a new pathway.
Tauranga Society of Artists secretary Pat Capill says the society are not happy about the extension, which impedes on their display area.
“We have to keep to the grass, we always have.
“That’s why we weren’t very happy about it. It is going to exclude more area we had to use - unless you have got a narrow set up, but we limit our stalls to 4m by 4m per artist.”
Pat says artists who sell through open air exhibitions prefer the grass as they are able to peg their easels down to prevent them blowing away.
The way the council rules are now is the paths are for people, says Pat.
“It will require a bit of a re-think for some of our artists and a repositioning for some of them. They might get a bit of a shock when they see it, I don’t think they realised it was in the pipeline.
“I thought the meandering path made a nice bit of character in summer, but it was too narrow. We thought four metres was over the top.”
The old narrow cobble footpath is being replaced with a four metre wide concrete path finished in exposed aggregate to match the surfaces in the shopping area.
Tauranga City Council communications advisor Marcel Currin says the old pathway needed replacing because its surface was deteriorating, with trip hazards developing where some of the cobbles had moved.
The wider path was identified as a requirement during public consultation in 2006 regarding future development of Coronation Park.
The budget for the new path was approved by Council in 2011 to complete improvements following the relocation of the Mt Maunganui Bowling greens to Blake Park.
The next Art in the Park is August 4, or the following weekend if the weather is bad.