Join the conversation about the future of Bunbury Street

Published on 22 November 2022

Bunbury Street

We’re broadening the conversation on proposed improvements to the streetscape along Bunbury Street in Footscray – one of the first streets established in Maribyrnong and an important Heritage area for the Council.

A key connector for people travelling between the Footscray Train Station, Maribyrnong River and Arts Precinct. The avenue of trees along Bunbury Street, bluestone detailing, original Victorian homes, and the railway tunnel that runs underneath all have heritage significance.

A growing population coupled with the impact of a warming climate and significant investment, including by State Government, is adding to the pressure on the existing infrastructure with further expansion and growth expected.

Council has been talking with neighbours since mid-2021 around the challenges, issues and opportunities for improving walking and cycling access, maintenance and enhancement of the heritage character along the Street. The aging and fragmented avenue of trees requires an updated planting and management plan, to ensure a healthy avenue into the future. 12 trees were removed in September due to safety concerns.

The local community told us they supported:

  • increased green space and greater tree canopy, and also valued the heritage trees
  • improved maintenance of footpaths, trees and verges
  • active transport – depending on how this was delivered; and
  • recognition of the heritage of the site

To support our conversations with the community, a community information session is scheduled from 10 am till midday on Saturday, 3 December 2022, in the Jack Kennedy Room at Footscray Community Arts, to discuss opportunities to increase greenery, deliver improvements to walking and bike riding through the area and connect to the rich heritage of the Street and the Arts Precinct..

Three concept designs have been developed to support the conversation. They all include significant pedestrian improvements and are differentiated by the way in which safety of cycling is improved upon in this important connection within Maribyrnong’s bicycle strategy.   The three options are as follows:

  • a ‘light touch’ plan, which suggests sharing the road space with reduced traffic speeds
  • ‘separated pathways’; option for fully separated bike paths; and
  • a ‘new link’, which shows a shared space footpath to the station, becoming a bidirectional separated link at Cowper Street with a change to one way traffic

All provide for a minimal loss in car parking and retention of the remaining healthy trees complemented by water-sensitive urban design and propose climate appropriate additional plantings.

At the eastern block between Moreland Street and Maribyrnong Street the landscape changes dramatically.  Here Council has proposed extra greening and canopy cover; connected off street pathways for cyclists and pedestrians in Grimes reserve and new ramp access to the bluestone cottages and backstage of Footscray Community Arts.

Feedback on the concept plans can be made at until midnight Sunday 18 December. Feedback will inform the development of the Bunbury Street Improvement Plan ahead of any construction, likely in 2024.

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