New land use controls along the Yarra in the Bulleen Precinct will trigger major enhancements to the trails network in one of Melbourne’s most attractive bike riding environments.
Crucially, the Main Yarra Trail, will for a significant distance, be trails—with shared paths on both sides of the river.
There will be other parkland trails, better local connections, a new off-road path along Templestowe Road, and best of all, three new bridges over the Yarra.
The new land use planning was required due to a number of new developments across the sensitive precinct.
The closure of the Yarra Valley Country Club golf course, and the intended sale of the land, opened up a whole swathe of the valley for parkland development.
The North East Link Tunnel will burrow under the Yarra and surrounding parks and industrial land in the heart of the precinct, bringing further changes.
There are other properties such as former driving ranges, drive-in theatres, and commercial operations that will also be repurposed into parklands in the future.
These moves will create a blank slate along the river for redesign into a more natural environment with better public access.
A key vision of the plan is that in addition to better access to walkers and bike riders through the precinct, the precinct in turn should be better connected to the rest of Melbourne.
And riders will be pleased that safer pedestrian and cycling access at the notorious Banksia Street Bridge is an important objective.
Another benefit will be better connections for riders to visit the Heide Museum of Modern Art.
And with the additional pedestrian and bike bridges over the Yarra, there will inevitably be a much greater use of the paths as riders create looped journeys through the environment—the type of journeys that are likely to attract family groups and visitor exploration.
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