THE SHARED path linking Warrandyte to the Main Yarra Trail has made another small step forward.
A window for public response to planning application PLN22/0002 — vegetation removal associated with the construction of a public shared path — between Alexander Road and the Mullum Mullum Trail closed on September 21, and there were three submissions in response.
Meanwhile, Council will be hosting an information session on October 26, at the Warrandyte Community Hall (Senior Citizens Centre), for further discussion regarding the plan to construct a shared footpath along Taroona Avenue, connecting Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road with the Warrandyte River Reserve/Everard Drive.
The Taroona Avenue Shared Path has been contentious.
In the multiple iterations of this shared path, extensive tree removal has required public advertisement of the works and has resulted in a community response against the plans — with feedback ranging from opposition to the number of trees being removed, the unsympathetic design which is out of character with the surrounding built and natural environment, and even some groups/submitters questioning if a shared path is genuinely required along an often quiet residential road, which only sees extensive traffic during large town events such as Warrandyte Riverside Market.
Council says the path will form part of its Main Yarra Trail Extension Project to facilitate the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists through the local area in all weather conditions.
The forthcoming information session will allow community members to meet with Council officers and discuss possible solutions for completing this missing section of the Main Yarra Trail along Taroona Avenue.
The Main Yarra Trail Extension Project
The Main Yarra Trail will provide a seamless connection from Warrandyte to the CBD when completed.
The trail will benefit pedestrians and cyclists by joining the Main Yarra Trail, Mullum Mullum Trail and other trails.
The trail extension aims to deliver increased participation in physical activities such as walking and riding to school, shops, and work.
Linking the CBD to Warrandyte will also be a major drawcard for recreational cyclists and tourists.
The plan for this trail has evolved over 20 years, and is being built in stages:
Stage 1: Beasley’s Nursery – Alexander Road.
This 750-metre section of the trail will provide safe off-road access from Mullum Mullum Creek to Alexander Road, where it joins into the existing trail.
Construction is planned for late 2022 to early 2023.
Stage 2: Alexander Road – Pound Road.
This one-kilometre section from Warrandyte High School to Pound Road was completed over several phases between 2011 and 2020.
Stage 3: Pound Road – Taroona Avenue.
Council is working with the Department of Transport on the design of this section of the trail.
This 1,385-metre section includes steep and curved roads with heavily vegetated roadsides.
Council aims to reduce the loss of trees, keep access to residential areas open, and provide a safer path for the community.
This section also intersects with bus stops, so safety measures will be important.
It is due for completion in 2023/2024
Stage 4: Taroona Avenue.
Based on community feedback in 2019, Council is reviewing the design for the 400-metre Taroona Avenue section of the trail.
The trail extension is listed in several of Manningham Council’s strategic plans, including the Manningham Bicycle Strategy and the Active for Life Recreation Strategy.
Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said cyclists and pedestrians currently travel along informal and disconnected footpaths and arterial roads, which poses a safety risk.
“The Warrandyte Township is a major tourism and recreation destination on the Yarra River, on the edge of the Green Wedge.
“This trail extension will make it easier and more enjoyable for recreational cyclists and locals to access and enjoy all that Warrandyte and the river offer.
“This is a good thing for local business and tourism,” she said.
Council has already begun ancillary works along the proposed route of the trail extension with the recently completed barbeque area and bike repair station at Warrandyte Reserve; the new rest stop has already seen extensive use.
There is also a new bike repair station, picnic table, map board and drink fountain near Beasley’s Nursery.
Have your say
This information session has been on hold since September 2021 due to COVID, but residents criticised the last round of plans for excessive tree removal, impact on sports and market parking and a potentially dangerous road crossing near First Street.
This path will be built and will be with us for a long time.
As we discuss what we imagine Warrandyte to look like, this is the perfect opportunity to put this into action.
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Location: Warrandyte Community Hall, 8 Taroona Avenue, Warrandyte.
For more information, visit yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/main-yarra-trail.