Works have commenced to improve the pedestrian crossings and walkways within Tunstall Square that will complement the Streetscape Master Plan being developed for the western side of the Doncaster East shopping centre.
The Master Plan will guide major upgrades of pedestrian paths, the creation of a new urban plaza space, new feature landscaping and improved footpath trading areas with trader and community consultation to begin in mid 2015.
Preliminary works include upgrades of the central pedestrian walkway on the western side of the shopping centre and the main pedestrian crossing on Tunstall Road, as well as the creation of a designated area for taxi and community buses to pick up and drop off passengers.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish said the new pedestrian area will replace the Rotary Walkway which had become a safety hazard, with the uneven brick paving found to be a significant tripping hazard to mobility impaired users.
“It is unfortunate that we have had to remove the well known and loved Rotary Walkway. But despite our best efforts to improve the safety of the original path’s surface, no practical solution could be found.”
“The initial intention was for the flattest bricks to be re-laid, and for the remaining uneven bricks to be used for low seating walls along the edges of the walkway.”
“Several techniques were tried to remove the bricks from the pathway without damaging them, but unfortunately very few were able to be salvaged in one piece,” he said.
Cr McLeish said that Council was very sensitive to the efforts of Rotary and the local community who built the walkway back in 1991 and has incorporated many facets of the original pathway into the new design.
Prior to the bricks being lifted, professional photographs were taken and the images of the bricks will be used in a number of ways:
- Names, dates and images will be etched into steel street furniture elements.
- Photographs will be published in a book that tells of the history of the Rotary Walkway and features stories about the people who participated in the project.
- Installation of an interpretive sign onsite, which will feature one or more photographs of the Rotary Walkway and share its history with passers-by.
Council will be working with Rotary to implement these projects.
The pedestrian safety and accessibility works are partially funded by a $150,000 grant from the Australian Government's Safer Suburbs Program Taxi Security Scheme and are due to be completed early June 2015.