The days of one of Sydney’s top Pokémon Go hot spots could be numbered with the City of Canada Bay Council and fed-up residents calling for the removal of PokéStops in the inner west suburb of Rhodes.
Thousands of players on the hunt for Pokémon have been flocking to Peg Paterson Park over the past two weeks, causing traffic chaos in the quiet waterside suburb and difficulty for emergency services.
“There have been a number of concerning instances already including an emergency services vehicle having difficulty reaching an apartment fire due to traffic congestion, traffic accidents, and reports of motorcycles using cycle and footpaths to get around traffic congestion,” City of Canada Bay General Manager Gary Sawyer told Domain.
The “potentially dangerous” volume of traffic and pedestrians has prompted the council to write to developer Niantic, requesting the removal of two of the three intersecting PokéStops at the park.
The council have already rostered on extra rangers to deal with
parking and traffic issues in the area and extra waste collection and cleaning
is happening at the park each day.
“Since the game’s release we have seen a continuous increase in visitors to this small park and the game’s traction does not appear to be slowing down.
“We have Pokéstops and gyms throughout our local government area, but the intensity of activity in this small park is cause for concern. For this reason, we are asking that two of the three Pokéstops be removed,” Mr Sawyer added.
The request will come as welcome news to Rhodes residents who have had enough of the Pokémon Go players which have been flocking to their suburb at all hours of the day.
Resident Sunghoon Choi, who lives in one of several apartment
complexes next to the park, said it had been quite chaotic.
“There is loud shouting throughout the night, people dumping rubbish and cigarette butts and constant traffic jams,” he said. “I think the constant traffic in the area is now creating a lot of chaos here for residents.”
He said the increase of people had also made it impossible
for him to bring his two young children to the park, which has been overrun by
“Also there is a real concern for security issues now, as there has been an influx of young people into this suburb coming from all over Sydney.”
He noted that other residents had reported seeing people
urinating in the park and that some had had their mail stolen or property
Pacific Building Management Group’s Rhodes Precinct Manager Antoni Gerich, who manages five apartment complexes near the park, added that some residents had reported people jumping over their fences to get to Pokémon.
“It’s got out of hand, it’s out of control, there are noisy outbursts in the middle of the night and early in the morning,” he said. “There are a lot of families, who have children, who are finding it hard to get to sleep.”
“The roads have also got more dangerous, people crossing without looking, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a big accident yet.”
He added that a group of teenagers had started hitting one resident’s car after the the man came close to hitting them when they crossed the road while playing the game.
However he says it hasn’t been all bad news, with other residents and local business owners glad to see hordes of people coming to Rhodes.
“There are some residents who are happy that it’s put Rhodes on the map, the business owners are very happy, as it’s certainly given them a bit of a boost.”
Mr Gerich said that while many residents would welcome the removal of the PokéStops, some local players would be disappointed.
“There are residents that do play the game and are happy to be in such a great Pokémon catching spot.”
Following council’s request to Niantic, management placed signs in the nearby apartments to encourage local residents to make their own submissions.
While residents were told that they could note that “a fire truck was unable to reach its destination”, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have confirmed that fire crews were able to respond to a cooking fire in a unit in Mary St, Rhodes on the evening of July 18.
“The area was heavily congested with cars and pedestrians, however fire trucks were able to reach the apartment block, gain entry to the unit and put out the fire in a timely manner,” a statement from FRNSW said.
Mr Choi, who has already made a submission, hopes Niantic
acts soon so that things can return to normal.
“We need to have at least two Pokéstops removed here, having just one wouldn’t create this much chaos.”