Lilydale Road, Healesville

Yarra Ranges Shire Council

Artists impression aerial image of Lilydale Road Healesville.jpg
Lilydale Road Healesville artists impression.jpg

In recent years, the way people use Lilydale Road in Healesville has changed with an increase in pedestrians and visitors to the area following the success of the Four Pillars Gin distillery and other restaurants and businesses on the road.

In 2019 Council engaged with the local community on the proposed design and requirements of Lilydale Road. The road was transformed to include connecting footpaths, 64 formalised parking spaces, improved drainage and lighting and street trees.

Upon completion of the road, Council further engaged with the community and strong concerns were expressed around the parking bays and width of the road.

Some alterations will now take place including relocating three trees, re-line marking the bays to increase the width and rounding the corners of the remaining tree bays.

The parking will remain at the 90-degree angle as part of the safety requirements to force traffic to slow down and to maintain a similar number of parking bays.

These alterations will result in a reduction of the number of parking bays from 64 to 61, whereas angled parking would result in a loss of 19 spaces leaving only 45, which does not support the requirements for the increased visitor numbers in the area.

These works were completed after Council obtained a grant from the Federal Government as part of the Safer Roads Initiative with the main aim to make the road safer for pedestrians.

Yarra Ranges Mayor Sophie Todorov said, we are aware there are some aspects of the design of this road that community are unhappy with, however we need to look at the future use and requirements of the road and not what it has been used for in the past.

“Council’s main aim for the construction of this road is to slow traffic down to make it safer for all pedestrians in the area, improve the parking by formalising the spaces, provide enough parking for predicted visitor numbers, plan for our future needs, connect with shared paths and plant a streetscape that will grow and mature in time.

“Following the completion of the road we received some feedback about the size of the parking spaces and width of the road. While the road was built to regulation standards, we will be making some adjustments to widen the parking bays and round off the corners from the areas where the trees are.

“In addition, we shall also move some of the trees from one side of the road to the other to enable the widening but keep the increased number of trees on the road.

“This road has been used in the past as a cut-through but as the number of pedestrians in the area has increased, Council needed to ensure the traffic was slowed down.

“Along with 40kph signs, the angle of the parking means that the road users must be mindful of people pulling into and out of parking spaces, which forces people to slow down.

“And while angled parking is popular, this does not have the desired impact of forcing the traffic on the road to slow down and decreases the number of spaces available by a third, which will not meet projected requirements for parking in the future for Healesville,” said Cr Todorov.

Along with changes to the parking, a wide shared path has been installed. This path has been widened so that once the trails from Yarra Glen to Healesville are completed, there is a connection to the businesses in this part of Healesville.

“Prior to these works, there were limited pathways from the parking bays to the businesses and this connection is now in place.

“This path has been built with the future in mind and the connection to the trails, however right now it means that those people in wheelchairs, or people with pushchairs can easily and safely use this footpath.

“We were also conscious of increasing the number of trees in this street and ensuring that they could survive. This meant using a special mesh under the area where they are planted to protect their root system so they can grow and mature. Protecting the future root system of the trees resulted in bays of a certain size to do this.

“In order to increase the size of the bays to accommodate larger vehicles, three trees will be relocated to the opposite side of the road. These trees, Nyssa sylvatica ‘Forum’ have been selected specifically as they are a deciduous upright tree with a pyramidal form.

“While we know that the changes to this road are significant to the local community, we ask for their support as we work towards improving the safety of the area for pedestrians as the local economy grows,” said Cr Todorov.

These alteration works are due to be undertaken in the coming months.

/Public Release. View in full here.