Bike path plans put residents in a spin
by Sandi Miller
8th June 2020
PLANNING FOR THE final stages of the bicycle path to connect Warrandyte to the Main Yarra Trail is underway.
Manningham Council is currently planning for a new shared bicycle path to connect Pound Road to Taroona Avenue in Warrandyte, with a final leg taking the path from Warrandyte High School to the junction with the Main Yarra Trail at Beasley’s Nursery.
Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community told the Diary, the path would complete the Main Yarra Trail connection to Warrandyte.
“This was identified as one of the top 10 trail connections in the Eastern Regional Trails Strategy 2018, which Manningham is a partner Council,” Mr Kourambas said.
He said it is also Council’s commitment to deliver key objectives of the Manningham Bicycle Strategy 2013.
However, locals have safety concerns over the chosen route for the Pound Bend to Taroona Avenue.
The proposed alignment of the new shared path includes a new off-road shared path and an on-road trail connection along an existing service lane, located off Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road ending at West End Road.
Residents who reside along the Heidelberg Road service lane are unhappy that the path will bring large numbers of bicycles along their narrow service lane.
Dr Abdul Qader, contacted the Diary on behalf of the residents after they received a letter from Manningham City Council regarding the bike trail extension.
“The residents of the service road totally reject this plan, mainly on safety grounds.
In a letter, signed by all the residents along the service road, which was sent to the Manningham Council Planning Department, the residents outlined their objections.
“Our service road will be subject to accident/collisions if this goes ahead.
Our driveways are built in such a way that we have to reverse our cars to go out and with bikes it would definitely become too hazardous.
So our driveways would have to be redesigned if this plan stands, if so who would bear the cost?”
MP Ryan Smith spoke to Council on the residents’ behalf and received the following statement from Council:
“The roadway itself is a quiet Council owned service lane that currently facilitates vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Having said that, Council acknowledges that the service lane could be improved with such works potentially incorporated into the project scope.
Council will consider all submissions before confirming next steps with the community.
This is only a conceptual alignment at this stage.
Council will ensure resident concerns have been considered and where appropriate, changes can be made to strengthen the design.”
The group has suggested keeping the path on the main road, rather than on the service road, or to reroute the path along Pound Road to the riverside.
“The latter option would serve better as all bike riders would enjoy the Warrandyte scenic beauty rather than our residential houses,” the residents’ letter stated.
Dr Qader said the residents were not rejecting the whole plan.
“The overall scheme is plausible, but the diversion from the main road to our service road is absolutely unacceptable when there are a couple of alternatives available,” he said.
Mr Kourambas said Council is currently assessing feedback received from local residents on the proposed alignment of this section of the trail.
“The detailed design process for the proposed on-road trail connection would consider safety for all road users including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists along with resident feedback,” he said.
Mr Kourambas said a final detailed design for the trail connection is anticipated to be completed during 2020/21 and works on the path are planned for 2021/22.
The completed trail should eventually join into another proposed bike path to extend the Yarra River trail from Taroona Reserve, up Taroona Avenue.
The Taroona Avenue extension was originally planned in 2018, however this seems to have been shelved for the moment.