Update December 2017: Bottom Shops pedestrian refuge – light and landscaping.
AIDA provided feedback to the shire during the community consultation undertaken for the Bottom Shops pedestrian refuge project. One of our concerns was the need for, and size, of the new light that was included in the works.
We were concerned that what was planned was a standard 11-metre VicRoads motorway light. We wrote to council with our concerns and were very pleased that they agreed to reduce the pole height to 8.5 metres and have an LED globe to reduce glare.
Given this, we were surprised to see that the new light at the Bottom Shops appears to be the standard 11-metre light. AIDA wrote to the shire seeking clarification and it turns out the power company installed the wrong light. This is due to be replaced on 22 November with the lower pole and reduced-glare globe.
The actual refuge island was installed in early November and the base landscaping works will be finished later in November. The new plants for the area have been ordered but will not be planted until after the summer heat, to give them a better chance to establish.
Update June 2017: The construction of the new pedestrian refuge at the Bottom Shops is due to be completed by the end of June.
The Surf Coast Shire consulted the community about the plans, and the extent of the works was altered in response to the feedback it received.
We are pleased that the plans to widen the entrance to Inlet Crescent were dropped after AIDA raised its concerns with the shire. These works were not related to the new crossing and would have been an unnecessary suburbanisation of the area.
The shire has had a detailed landscape plan developed with assistance from ANGAIR and it is seeking feedback. The plan can be found on the
Surf Coast Conversations web page: http://www.surfcoastconversations.com.au/aireys-inlet-pedestrian- crossing People are welcome to leave comments there.
Update March 30th 2017: The final design for the Inlet Bottom Shops pedestrian refuge is now locked in. At the Surf Coast Shire Council meeting on March 28th councillors approved final amendments to the plan for the refuge, adding to earlier changes requested by the community and AIDA over a lengthy feedback period. In all the changes included removing painted bicycle lanes, decreasing the amount of concrete kerbing, reducing the extent of removal of native vegetation to accomodate the works*, deleting the proposed enlargement and realignment of the entrance to Inlet Crescent* (except for some rounding of the corners), and VicRoads agreeing to reduce glare the night sky by installing a directional 198-watt light on an 8.5-metre pole instead of the 250-watt light on an 11-metre pole. A landscape plan for the area will be developed in consultation with ANGAIR, AIDA and the wider community.
* these features are unchanged on the next to final plan shown above.
Update February 2017: AIDA supports the concept of a pedestrian refuge to provide a safer crossing of the Great Ocean Road at the Bottom Shops but we remain concerned about the significant, and unrelated, works to the Inlet Crescent entry.
It is the committee’s view that widening the entrance to Inlet Crescent will encourage drivers to enter the area at greater speed and we asked the shire to review this aspect of the works.
The grassed and treed verge at Inlet Crescent acts as an informal chicane, forcing traffic coming off the Great Ocean Road to reduce their turning speed into an area where young children are playing and tourists and locals alike walk on the road.
In addition to the safety concerns, this proposal would result in the loss of screening vegetation and introduce a more suburban face to the area. This is against council’s Aireys Inlet to Eastern View Structure Plans, to ‘protect and enhance the small, low key, informal, non-suburban, vegetated coastal village character of the towns’.
AIDA is not persuaded about the need for bright lighting for the new refuge. Unfortunately, the requirement for a new light by the was not included with the information provided for community comment. Since early January we have been in discussion with council officers to reduce the height of the new pole and to change the type of light to achieve minimum light spill.
Update January 16th 2017: AIDA agrees that a pedestrian refuge is needed for crossing the Great Ocean Road between the Skate Park car park and the western end of the Bottom Shops. AIDA provided feedback on the original plans in late 2015 and early 2016 (see summary below) and it is pleasing to see some of our suggestions have been accepted although in the committee’s view they could have been resolved more simply.
The current schematic plan of the proposed pedestrian refuge at the Bottom Shops (see above) is on the Shire’s website for comment. The link is below:-
The AIDA committee will provide feedback to the Shire and we encourage members to review the plans and provide comment, which can be made via the link above, either directly on the web page, or by uploading a file containing your comments. Comments are due by February 10.
AIDA noted that throughout 2015 AIDA has been working with the Shire to develop the Eastern View to Aireys Inlet Structure Plan (which was adopted at the Shire’s November meeting). AIDA was concerned that two of the key directions to:
- Protect and enhance the environmental assets within and surrounding the towns to maintain the area’s natural beauty and attractive setting
- Protect and enhance the small scale, low-key, informal, non-suburban, vegetated coastal village character of the towns
were not well supported by the proposed plans for the refuge and that the draft plan was an over-engineered and suburban response to the issue, especially when compared to similar to the existing refuges in Aireys Inlet and Moggs Creek. Furthermore, when the Shire previously planned the additions to car parking along Inlet Crescent and surfaced the car park itself, there was every attempt to ensure the outcome was as natural as possible and did not scar the area.
Specific concerns raised were:
The proposal to widen the Great Ocean Road. AIDA was concerned at the impact this will have on the boobialla and moona – both fire retardent bushes – currently acting as a screen to the car park and play area which both softens the ugliness of the car park and provides a continuation of the “greenness” of this area. The widening of the road and the provision of additional laneways will increase the speed at which vehicles pass throught the area, thus making it more dangerous for pedestrians using the refuge.
The proposed widening of the entrance to Inlet Crescent. The current car parking entrance has been designed to be recessive with treed screening which adds to the naturalness of the area. This and the proposed widening of the west side of Inlet Crescent with a painted splitter island (that has unnecessary kerb and channel drainage) would throw up safety concerns as cars would be able to enter the car park and Inlet Crescent at greater speed in an area where young children are playing and tourists and locals alike use the road as a walkway.
The proposal to have painted bicycle lanes. AIDA noted that this would be a visual pollutant and unecessary. Again, this is a suburban, if not inner Melbourne, addition to bicycle lanes and we are not aware of painted bicycle lanes being used elsewhere along the Great Ocean Road. AIDA also noted that there is no bike lane along the Great Ocean Road through Aireys Inlet from Hopkins Street. Given this AIDA asked why a bike lane should be included in this draft proposal and whether or not Council would intend to widen the road through Aireys to accommodate a bike lane.