New trail for Eastern suburbs

Planning is underway for the new trail and surrounding parklands within the Healesville Freeway Reserve.

The Healesville Freeway Reserve is 35 hectares of former freeway reserve land between Springvale Road in Forest Hill and the Morack Public Golf Course in Vermont.

The land will now be established as a park and given a new name.

A bike route along the Reserve has been mapped for a future Strategic Cycling Corridor that will connect riders to a number of key destinations through these under-provided suburbs, from the East Link Trail to Springvale, and then connecting all the way through to the Gardiners Creek Trail in Box Hill South.

The draft Park Plan includes a shared walking and cycling trail running the length of the new park.

Parks Victoria says people may use the trail as part of their commute.

However, it says: "The proposed material of the east-west trail is predominantly granite gravel which can help to reduce cycling speeds on shared paths for the safety of all users."

"The granitic gravel surface will be supported with a concrete base where greater surface stability is required, such as areas where the landscape is steep.”

It is surprising that gravel is being considered for a commuting route in Melboure’s wet east.

And the notion that it would be a safer option is not supported by any evidence Bicycle Network is aware of.

Parks Victoria says: "The location of the trail will be determined by existing conditions such as gradients and topography, water run-off, environmental and cultural values, connections to other existing paths or attractions such as park facilities, schools, or businesses, and community inputs.

"In considering these factors, some areas of the trail have been planned to run close to the fence line of neighbouring properties.”

As well as the main trail, features include:

  • three play areas
  • two accessible toilet blocks
  • three picnic and barbeque areas
  • one beginner level bicycle pump track
  • an east-west shared use trail running the length of the park secondary trails
  • off-lead dog walking areas
  • vegetation and biodiversity restoration animal habitats (nest boxes and hollows)
  • directional and educational signage
  • two carparks
  • other amenities such as seating, water bubblers and lighting.

Parks Victoria has produced a Concept Design Report and draft Park Layout Plan for the Reserve and is seeking feedback. Have your say by completing Park Victoria's survey here.

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