'Disappointing' bike path tree planting: Baw Baw calls snap meeting
 Baw Baw News   By // 16:34, Monday 12 October 2015

queen street bike path planting baw baw warragul baw baw citizen by william pj kulich brighter

WARRAGUL // BUSINESSES and cyclists frustrated by the Baw Baw Shire’s decision to plant trees in shared lanes on Queen Street Warragul will have a chance to discuss the move at a meeting tomorrow.

Above: some of the holes dug for tree planting on Queen Street. Photo: author.



The council began cutting large holes for trees into the parking/cycling lanes and dedicated parking areas along the eastern section of the busy street last week. It paused the project after cyclists and the Warragul Business Group raised concerns about safety and parking availability.

Warragul Business Group president Dave Cann told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the council had not consulted with businesses and the community properly.

“It’s more the disappointment about the discussion, communication and consultation,” he said on Saturday.

“We were informed there was generic beautification going going in on the entry points, which we’re all in favour for, let’s be honest about it, the three main entrance points in Warragul could do with some refreshing, but what has occurred is quite dramatic and has significant impact, not just on the traffic flow and particularly on cycle safety down that road, but also the impact it has on businesses.


“The placement of the planter boxes and their frequency is quite high, and in most cases it will take away at least one roadside park for the businesses. In some cases, because of the positioning, it will actually impact on two spaces because it will take away half of each. There was just that lack of consultation with businesses affected around that area.”

Baw Baw community assets director Phil Cantillon today told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen a meeting would be held in response to the complaints.

“The work on Queen Street (East of the Normanby Street Rail Underpass) has been suspended pending a meeting with the Warragul Business Group and Warragul Cycling Club, to discuss concerns at 1.30pm tomorrow at the [Gippsland] Business Centre in Queen Street,” he said in an email.

“This meeting is open to all interested members of the cycling community [and affected businesses].

“The proposed plantings along Queen Street align to Warragul’s strong tradition for street tree avenue plantings, and although they are advanced trees, as ornamental pear trees they will not be large enough to obstruct pedestrian, cyclist, or driver visibility.

“Most of the street trees in the project will be planted in either cut outs in the road pavement in the existing car parking/cycling lanes or in kerb outstands (similar to the situation along Howitt Street). This is to ensure the trees are not planted under overhead powerlines and to give the trees adequate space to grow.

“Currently, the parking/cycling lanes are shared lanes, which are available for use by cyclists so long as it is safe and practical to do so and with priority given to cars and other infrastructure.

“Designs for the streetscape works were assessed and approved by VicRoads prior to works commencing. As a part of the consultation, a letter was hand-delivered to the adjoining landowners and all nearby businesses (May 2015) along with a copy of that letter posted to the Warragul Business Group (June 2015).”


What do you think of the project? Comment below.

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26 responses to “'Disappointing' bike path tree planting: Baw Baw calls snap meeting”

  1. Martin says:

    As a cyclist and a driver I think the placement of these street trees is a silly idea. I would hate to be hit or hit anyone.
    It seems they are on direct oposite sides of the road which further reduces the space in which road users can pass safely. Can they not plant the trees on the nature strip?

  2. Peter Hinksman says:

    The Council needs to move into the 21st century – plant trees in every street using the nature strip and put all power lines underground.

  3. Hedy says:

    I’ve got a better idea – plant the trees in the centre of the road, in between the broken lines. That should enhance the street scape in a much bigger way don’t you think BawBaw Shire Council!!

  4. margaret says:

    This is October, not the 1st April, this has to top everything else done by OUR council, if they have money to burn , give it back to the ratepayers, and so dangerous

  5. P Kastle says:

    So how many more dollars and lack of thought have gone into this project – maybe council should have kept on some of the staff that they got rid of who actually know the area.

  6. Beverley says:

    I cannot believe that council proposes to set planter boxes in these squares. Please leave the road surfaces alone. If you believe the area needs to be beautified, do it on the “Nature Strip” That is what it is there for. Please leave our parking areas and roads for what they are intended ie: the safe parking and movement of traffic.

    Reducing it by any amount is not in the interest of ratepayers. The boxes will be a permanent financial burden with watering and maintenance; they will also be another obstruction to Drivers visibility and an area for rubbish to accumulate. I also pity the businesses in that area. They must be against this proposal. Were they asked?

    I had not heard anything about these works and feel a more concerted attempt to enlighten the public with specific changes clearly outlined before the project starts, would make for a more open and inclusive council.

  7. Rosemary Race says:

    Isnt it time Councils and Shires remember the family who like to cycle together, children ride to school, we encourage cyclists to our towns. For this to happen we need safe bike lanes.
    Not everyone has a car. Arent new trees for cafes and footpaths NOT roads

  8. Annah says:

    Surely a metre or two difference between planting a tree in a nature strip v. the bicycle lane would make negligible difference across the canopy of a tree. Totally echo all the above comments.

  9. bill cole says:

    spend the money on cleaning the Queen st toilets.used them last thursday.filthy dirty & covered in graffiti.an absolute discrace.and the roads have not got any better .another discrace.

  10. Graeme says:

    Bike Lane! It’s not a Bike Lane,for most of the day it’s more proper use is for vehicle parking ranging from motor bikes to semi trailers.
    Lets face it a painted white line with a stenciled bike neither makes it safe for bike riders or defendable as an unalienable right to be used solely for bike riders.The time is coming when we will be glad to have as much shade as possible.

  11. Rahji says:

    The Council have been watching too many episodes of Utopia (ABC 1). Without community consultation, they have employed Karsten at great expense to come up with an idea to mark our towns entrances. The design is so ridiculous even the Working Dog team would think it too unbelievable to script.

  12. Andrew says:

    I know, how about plant trees in a reserve, say… Brooker Park. At the rate the council cuts trees down in this park and never plants any replacements there will be none left in ten years.

  13. Jan Stuut says:

    This reflects the councils lack of the depth of a vision for our town. There seems to be a blanket ruling to not plant under power lines to avoid maintenance costs and this seems to be the outcome. A ridiculous and dangerous out of touch plan resulting in an eyesore down the track for us to spend more money on rectifying.

  14. Katy grandin says:

    Warragul comes alive on weekends with bike riders. Fantastic for local business.Why on earth would we create obstacles and potential hazards. I love trees but seriously why would you put them in the bike lane. An accident waiting to happen.

  15. Kylie Lamb says:

    Perhaps the money would have been better put to use in fixing all the dangerous potholes and road surfaces around Warragul. Our roads are an embarrassment, not to mention dangerous to drive on and damaging to cars.

  16. Felicity Ives says:

    Typical Baw Baw Shire style, start something without adequate community consultation and then stop – after plenty of money has been spent already – and have a conversation. I understand the concept of ‘beautifying’ our town, but our roads are in such a terrible state already, surely we don’t need to add to the hazards

  17. Maureen Milnes says:

    Why. I thought that was what naturestrips were for

  18. Janette says:

    Oh my..this is surely a storyline for the ABC series Utopia. When will Baw Baw council learn to listen to the people!!!

  19. Barbara Fox says:

    I guess planning this latest Utopian street scape is why Council has not attended to the dangerous footpath trip hazards in George St that I notified them about on 12th May.

  20. Ian Mallows says:

    The money would be better spent on the hundreds of pot holes and deteriorated asphalt surfaces in the town and shire roads.

  21. Raymond says:

    Wow, not a single comment in support! Not saying I necessarily am, but did anyone bother to read the whole article and BBSC’s response?

    “Designs for the streetscape works were assessed and approved by VicRoads prior to works commencing. As a part of the consultation, a letter was hand-delivered to the adjoining landowners and all nearby businesses (May 2015) along with a copy of that letter posted to the Warragul Business Group (June 2015).”

  22. David Wells says:

    It is a vehicle lane first and foremost, then a bike path only if safe. However, if they want to improve the approach to the town, why not move that bower from Neerim South and improve both places?

  23. Marilyn Rodwell says:

    I totally agree with all of the above comments, especially the comments concerning the disgraceful condition of roads in this Shire. The Jindivick/Neerim South Road is a prime example of a hazardous road which places all user’s lives at risk because of the Shire’s neglect to provide continuing & appropriate road maintenance instead of the haphazard quick fix system they now use. The Shire has a duty to properly design, inspect, and maintain roads so that they are reasonably safe for use by motorists. Making roads safer can save lives. The poorer condition of local roads also contributes to faster rates of deterioration of vehicles. For these reasons I believe the Shire needs to urgently rectify the appalling condition of our local roads.

  24. Marita says:

    How about council get rid of the filthy dirty paperbarks in the streets and replace them with something nice.

  25. David Tanner says:

    What is wrong with the nature strip?

  26. Ian Perry says:

    Surely, someone has mixed up October 12 and April 1?

    Warragul Council have entertained many around the world who read this article, and view the photograph, in disbelief!

    Do you not allow children to cycle in Warragul? Children love to cycle, but it seems that your council will do everything it can to prevent them from enjoying this healthy activity, and associated freedom.