Work recently completed on Stage 3A of the Green Spine project, creating 1km of accessible walking and cycling trail along the northern side of the Maroondah Highway.
The path currently connects the Chirnside Park Shopping Centre to Old Melbourne Road and on to the Maroondah Council boundary at Hughes Park.
More than 1000 native plants and dozens of trees have been planted along the path, to improve the look of the area and provide a barrier between the roadside and the path.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Richard Higgins, said the project’s final stage, 3B, would commence construction later this year.
“The Chirnside township is a great place to visit but has been difficult to navigate in the past if you’re unable to drive,” Cr Higgins said.
“This project solves those problems, meaning shopping and getting around town is easier for all of our residents.
“The final stage of the project will connect Fletcher Road to the Homemaker Centre, with an accessible elevated walkway, meaning that all of Chirnside’s major shopping areas will be connected to one another and to the Bushy Creek Trail.
“We’ve already received great feedback from our community about this project and I look forward to seeing this project finished off mid next year.”
Cr Higgins said the Green Spine aligned with Yarra Ranges Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2017-21), which sets goals of ensuring people in the Yarra Ranges are physically active and have access to active transport options, such as walking, cycling and public transport.
“We know that, in the Yarra Ranges, most car trips are only a few kilometres long – by making our towns more accessible with paths for cyclists and pedestrians, we can encourage people to change the way they travel around their towns,” Cr Higgins said.
“The Green Spine project is one that will make everything more accessible for residents and visitors alike and provide a great, safe incentive for people to walk or ride to the shops, leave the car at home and enjoy their neighbourhood at a slower pace.”