Elderly pedestrians finally safe with new footpath on busy road

Glenvale retirees are enjoying safer access to shops on Greenwattle Street after years of lobbying council to build a footpath.



Retired firefighter Gary Proellocks narrowly avoided being sideswiped by a car while riding his mobility scooter on Greenwattle Street in October 2020.

Living Gems residents had already complained to council about the dangers of missing footpaths between their South Street home and the Coles shopping complex on Glenvale Road, months before Mr Proellocks’ near-miss.

Mr Proellocks, 73, had previously been forced to ride his scooter on the road alongside oncoming traffic, crossing the busy road multiple times when the bicycle lane narrowed or disappeared.

The footpath finished in December and Mr Proellocks now uses it twice a day.

Retiree Hilda Latcham, 71, said the new footpath gave residents more independence.

“Gary just about wears it out. He makes the trip to the shops twice a day now, instead of a few times a week,” Ms Latcham said.

“More residents are now inclined to walk to Coles, or for exercise, as it is much safer – no more uneven ground,” she said.

“It was an accident waiting to happen.”

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP helped residents lobby council to make the footpath a priority.

“Gary has lived a life of service. He is a war veteran and was also a firefighter in Toowoomba for 30 years,” Mr Janetzki said.

“He has maintained his independence despite a major stroke 19 years ago. He should be able to get his groceries safely,” he said.

“I want to thank council for listening to the community.

“When governments work together, we can achieve good outcomes for the community.”

Toowoomba Gems Residents Association former secretary Doug Searle began lobbying the council in 2020 on behalf of Living Gems residents.

Living Gems has since been renamed Stockland Halcyon Ridge.