The Kingston leg of the Baytrail shared pathway has created controversy for much of the past twenty years. Whilst the trail was completed through Bayside, Elwood, St Kilda, Middle Park and Port Melbourne many years ago, successive Kingston Councils were unable to agree on how to balance the competing interests of all stakeholders.
Kingston’s foreshore area hosts a range of different activities and interests including beach goers, swimmers, walkers, runners, cyclists, life saving clubs, sailing clubs, local residents and commuters.
Beach Road is one of only two main arterial roads between Melbourne’s southern suburbs and the CBD, Nepean Highway being the other one. As such it carries over 10,000 vehicles each day. It is also a designated transport route for both freight and bus services. In addition it is one of Melbourne’s most popular cycling routes with thousands of riders daily, weekends even more!
A shared pathway that sits adjacent the road is the option preferred by the vast majority of people as it provides visibility and retains the picturesque walking paths that wind along the clifftops.
The section of the trail that the previous Council was able to complete, between Charman Road and the Mentone Lifesaving Club, is the ideal model as it provides a wide and safe path, a sufficient barrier between the path and roadway, removes a minimum of vegetation and retains the indented parking, an important aspect when considering cyclist safety.