Tag Archives: Research-Warrandyte Road

Building the path less travelled

TWO RECENT projects to construct footpaths and kerbing on Research-Warrandyte Road have been completed by Nillumbik Council. Both sections were constructed and fully funded as part of the Getting to School Safely Program, which is known by the Federal Government as the School Infrastructure Road Upgrade project. Council received $1.6 million from the Federal Government for the project, which includes 17 sites across Nillumbik. The less contentious of these works connects Danita Drive to the bottom end of Valias Street, requiring pedestrians to cross the road at the bus stops, and runs for approximately 180 metres costing approximately $90,000. But the one that has caused controversy is a short length on the north side of Research-Warrandyte Road from the traffic lights at Kangaroo Ground Road up to the junction of a service road, a distance of around 90 metres, with associated kerbing and fencing at a cost of approximately $80,000.
Shane Drieberg star ted the discussion on Facebook and described it as a “path to nowhere”. In his post, he stated:
“Is anyone else a little disappointed with the new short stretch of path on the north side of Research- Warrandyte road which only serves the small number of houses in the little lane way it leads to? This was funded from ‘Getting Kids to School Safely’ program but it has missed the mark.”
Many others complained that the money could have been better spent. Reg Byrne, who lives in that little service road posted:
“We now use that path and whilst I don’t disagree that there may be families who need a path more, someone old or young may benefit from what has been done. I hope as a community we can seek support for continued development of services.”
When asked by the Diary for comment on the rationale behind this work, a spokesperson from Nillumbik Council said council sought community feedback on the project in March–April 2018, before advocating for funding.
“We received 144 submissions from 70 respondents. “A number of submissions from the North Warrandyte community sought footpath improvements to access the existing bus stops located on Research- Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road”. It could be argued that a benefit from the works has been to tidy up that side of Research Road following the bridge and traffic lights works, and the rebuilding of part of the culvert in the low section before the lights. Cr Ben Ramcharan had been pushing to have this footpath extended to Somers Road in the short term, and eventually all the way up to the top of the hill, but is struggling to get this up the priority list and to get the necessary funding. He has advised the Diary that Council officers are arranging a site visit at Somers Road in the coming weeks. This will give them a chance to see what the issues are there and will help inform where it sits in Council’s priority list. We asked Council for information on further footpath works in the pipeline and it advised:
“A further project planned for North Warrandyte is the design and construction of a 1.2m wide asphalt footpath along Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road, North Warrandyte between Aton St and Blooms Rd. This project is still being designed to minimise native vegetation impacts.”
There has also been community concern for the difficulty that people, especially schoolchildren, have in crossing Research-Warrandyte Road, particularly in the vicinity of Browns Road where the footpath crosses from the north side to the south side at a blind corner — this concern was put to Council.
“There is a safe pedestrian crossing of Research-Warrandyte Road at the intersection of Kangaroo Ground- Warrandyte Road. A pedestrian crossing near Browns Road has not been funded as part of this program and there are no plans or funding at this stage for such a project. As a declared State arterial road, any additional crossing locations on Research-Warrandyte Road require the consent of the Department of Transport.”

Groundhog Day as another truck comes to grief at the bridge

WARRANDYTE bridge was blocked for several hours on Tuesday, September 22, after a semi-trailer rolled on its side at the intersection of Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road and Research-Warrandyte Road.

A police spokesperson at the scene stated that the truck had apparently lost its brakes coming down the steep Research Road hill (Sloans Hill).

The driver tried to turn the speeding vehicle left into Kangaroo Ground Road, resulting in the semi-trailer rolling onto its side.

The driver of the semi was taken to hospital after receiving a heavy knock to the head.

No one else was injured at the accident and fortunately no cars were coming down Kangaroo Ground Road at the time of the accident.

The semi had crossed the southbound lane of Kangaroo Ground Road and ended up hard against the bank at the side of Kangaroo Ground Road.

Ben Ramcharan, candidate for Sugarloaf Ward in the forthcoming Nillumbik Council Election has been advocating for improved safety on this road since February, and says it is frustrating to see yet another incident which could easily have been fatal under different circumstances.

“This is now the fifth truck crash on the south side of Research-Warrandyte Road since November 2018.

“Fortunately, as the roads are quieter at the moment due to lockdown, nobody else was hit.

“My thoughts are with the truck driver who has gone through a very traumatic experience.”

Mr Ramcharan said he spoke with a resident on Research-Warrandyte Road who has had multiple cars lose control at Bradleys Lane and plough into his fence on Research-Warrandyte Road.

“One driver even crashed through his driveway.

“He said VicRoads were able to make improvements on the corner, which has solved the problem.

“This shows that safety improvements can make a difference and now that we’re seeing more crashes at the bottom of the hill, we need to ask the Department of Transport to take similar action,” he said.

Benita Quine, the mother of Ana Quine who was injured in a crash in January in the same spot is angry the intersection remains dangerous.

“This has to stop,” she said.

She said that the intersections at both ends of the bridge are a safety concern.

“Talking to others, and in my experience, plus witnessing other near misses — the pedestrian crossing at the Yarra Street end of the bridge is so dangerous!

“Drivers seem to be unaware of its purpose, myself and others have had to hold up a hand to say ‘I am crossing please stop,’” she said.

Mr Ramcharan agreed the incidents on Research-Warrandyte Road are part of a much larger problem with road safety in North Warrandyte, Research and Kangaroo Ground.

In a letter seen by the Diary, the Department of Transport indicated that they are working with their road safety partners to identify future improvements on Research-Warrandyte Road.

The letter also indicated that Nillumbik Council are planning to construct new footpaths on sections of Research-Warrandyte Road as part of its Getting to School Safely project.

“These projects will enhance pedestrian access and safety,” the letter said.

Mr Ramcharan said the incident on Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road in June, where a 29-year-old woman was killed, is “a sobering reminder of how important it is to address road safety across the board.

“This is about our safety and our families’ safety,” he said.