Community rejects Taroona Avenue plan
by JAMES POYNER
7th June 2021
RESIDENTS were left with more questions than answers last month when the plans for a long-delayed shared path upgrade along Taroona Avenue advertised a very different concept to what was originally proposed three years ago.
The original plan involved an asphalt path with a kerb running the length of Taroona Avenue, except for a section of boardwalk near the small oval.
The updated plan is a shared pedestrian/bicycle path running the length of Taroona Avenue, separated from the road by kerb and channel.
The Diary asked Council a number of questions last month regarding the updated plans, questioning the appropriateness of the new plans in reference to the character of the area and the confusing documentation regarding the apparant removal
of trees, including the two mature manna gums at the corner of Everard Drive, which were to be retained in the initial plans
Council was unable to get a response to us in time for the May 2021 edition of Warrandyte Diary, but has now supplied a reply.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon told the Diary the path is now part of Council’s Bicycle Strategy Plan 2013.
“This is an exciting project as it delivers on Council’s long-term Bicycle Strategy Plan 2013, working towards providing a fully integrated and continuous trail.
“We started engaging with our community in 2017, asking for feedback on the layout and design.
“After considering the feedback, including concerns with the impact on vegetation, we have reworked the design and layout and have more
recently gone back out to nearby residents with an updated design.”
“The proposed design is for a 2.5m wide shared path that avoids all large significant indigenous trees along the roadside, with eight sapling trees identified for possible removal.
“We are keen to ensure that the final design fits with the aesthetics of the local area following feedback from the community.”
“A detailed arboriculture assessment to determine the ecological value and impact of the works on adjacent trees and referenced a Cultural Heritage Management assessment for the area is now underway.
“Improving our liveability, providing safe and accessible connections that encourage recreation and minimises reliance and use of vehicles continues to be a key activity of Council”, Cr Conlon said.
Despite what council says, it is
clear that residents are not happy with the proposed plans with local cyclists exacerbated at the absurdity of having a fully engineered curb and channel shared bike path along a 200 metre stretch of road which only really gets busy on market and community sports days — when both sides of the road become a car park.
A number of concerned residents have flagged the danger of the path crossing the road at First Street.
The crossing is half-way down a hill and in a blind spot for any oncoming vehicles.
Warrandyte Community Association has informed the Diary it is seeking to meet with council on the community’s behalf with president, Terry Tovey calling on council for further consultation.
“The current proposal seeks to do too much with what is a constrained roadway with the consequence that
no one is happy with the result. “Identifying Taroona Avenue as part of the bicycle network seems misguided when there are much more urgent bicycle link priorities, such as that between Warrandyte and the Yarra Trail from Beasley’s
“The Council needs to look for a less
intrusive solution for Taroona Avenue which better protects the streetscape and environment and which meets the community’s continuing need for adequate parking and safe pedestrian access,” he said.
Ensuring our cyclists are safe on the roads is important, but the real missing link is the connection between Warrandyte High School and the Mullum Mullum Trail at Beasleys.
The Diary, the WCA and the broader community request Council makes linking Warrandyte safely to the Mullum Mullum trail its priority.