Golfers Choice

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Golfers Choice - Malvern Valley Public Golf Course

A proposed new path to resolve ongoing problems at the Malvern Valley Public Golf Course (MVPGC).

Problem

Cyclists short cutting through the MVPGC. They hold up play and are in danger of being struck by golf balls. Based on recent counts we estimate 80 cyclists a day use this shortcut. If each cyclist holds up five golfers, then that's 400 golfers a day inconvenienced.

Solution

Take advantage of the works occurring on the golf course resulting from the M1 widening and build a path that will replace the shortcut. Monash Alliance has plenty of free clean dirt fill - the section from Golfers Drive to Argyll St could be levelled out before you know it. Has this solution been proposed before - Yes - refer to the long lost and buried Sinclair Knight Merz 2003 report that shows this path.

What's the hold up?

Stonnington Council appears hesitant. They believe another proposed path at Markham Ave will resolve the issue - unfortunately it will not. A little bit of history from "Private and Public Memory: a History of the City of Malvern by Lynne Strahan"

"... democratic fairness was invoked to support Councillor Gray's objection to the formation of a club: 'Golf clubs are notoriously exclusive bodies and they take all sorts of precautions to keep outsiders at bay'. The decision was confirmed for democracy, and Malvern stayed with humbler suburbs in maintaining a public course."

Proposed route

The route in purple on the map is a great alternative to to the current shortcut in use - refer to route shown in deep pink. However Stonnington council appears hesitant to entertain this route, even though it resolves the problem of cyclists shortcutting across the MVPGC and has other benefits:

For Golfers

  • eliminates an existing issue whereby pedestrians and cyclists shortcut through the golf course - Stonnington Council is highly concerned for their safety. Play is often held up.
  • minimal impact on golf course
  • some golfers may want to cycle to the course - encourage younger members
  • access to the bistro from the station

For Cyclists

  • creates good connection to the Waverley Rail Trail
  • better safer connection to Holmesglen TAFE and surrounds - Warrigal Rd & Batesford Rd is a VicRoads blackspot
  • in due course the Argyll St section could be replaced by building a path along side the train track to Holmesglen station
  • a bridge that crosses Warrigal is already available - refer photo
  • the grade of the route is suitable for commuting
  • access to the bistro for recreational cyclists

For Council & State Government

  • Monash Alliance has done nearly all the work already - minimal disruption to the Golf Course
  • good PR
  • limit liability issues
  • much of the protective fencing is already in place
  • eliminate an ongoing problem
  • support sustainable transport
  • no bridges are required - a lot of dollars saved
  • the majority of the path (if not all) is above the 1 in 10 year flood level
  • would provide a shared path for residents in the Thurso/Boulevarde area. Residents in this area are actively discouraged from entering the golf course by Stonnington CC for their own safety
  • meeting 2030 obligations - Chadstone is a 2030 Principal Activity Center
  • priority to shared paths in a Central Activities District - Box Hill


Room for a path?

Click on the photos for a full size picture.


All roads lead to Rome? MVPGC in this case

This area is the "Camberwell junction" of bicycle trails in Boroondara/Stonnington/Monash. The green routes shown on the map below outline the existing routes. Note: only the tail ends of the existing routes are shown. The area forms an important interchange for these routes:

The paths listed above together with our proposed new path will facilitate access to:

  • the Golf Club Bistro
  • East Malvern, a premium station & Holmesglen station
  • Holmesglen TAFE
  • Chadstone shopping center - a 2030 Principle Activity Centre
  • Malvern Valley Primary School
  • Stonnington Council's Phoenix Park Neighbourhood centre
  • Solway Primary School
  • Stonnington Council's BMX circuit
  • the considerable amount of student housing in the area

Nearby are:

  • Deakin University
  • Ashwood Secondary School
  • Monash University - Caufield Campus
  • Melbourne University - Hawthorn Campus
  • Hawthorn Secondary College


M1 widening

Eddington Report: "The EWLNA has noted the importance of ensuring that all new infrastructure projects in Melbourne accommodate walking and cycling access at the very early planning stages."

The M1 is being widened to accommodate more traffic. "Monash Alliance", the road builders, are expected to improve the local amenity to balance out the amenity lost due to the impact of the widened road. Typically the local councils do deals to get their local projects instigated. Stonnington Council has opted for a system that uses run off water from the tollway to water the golf course - refer to this 4.25Mb pdf. Currently the water is pumped out of Gardiners Creek, so nothing wrong with this idea.

However at the same time it would be constructive if Stonnington Council also considered the ongoing problems encountered with walkers and cyclists crossing the golf course at "unapproved" locations. At a consultation session with the M1 builders, it was suggested by the consultants that it may well be possible to run a shared path parallel to and north of the tollway, next to the golf course, between the East Malvern Station footbridge and Golfers Drive. Such a path could certainly connect with Argyll St or even a path parallel to the train line, which has ample room.

The East Malvern Station footbridge is being replaced. The new footbridge will be able to connect to the proposed path easily.

This section of path could contribute to a Safe Routes to School for Ashwood Secondary College.

Time to travel by bicycle (15 to 20 kph) to nearby destinations from this suggested path:

  • Monash University - Caulfield Campus: 8 to 11 mins - 2.7 km
  • Ashwood Secondary School: 9 to 12 mins - 2.9 km
  • Deakin University: 15 to 20 mins - 5.0 km

Funding

The area where the proposed path is located has been completely devastated by the M1 works. Restoring the area with a path included should not add much to the overall cost. It is now State Government policy to always consider cycling when roadworks are undertaken by VicRoads.

Additionally the 2009 Victorian Cycle Strategy - 2.3 Mb pdf p5 notes that the strategy: "... prioritises network development in areas of high demand and growth, including the inner 10 km of Melbourne, Central Activities Districts (CADs)...". This area is within 10kms of the Box Hill Central Activities District and just over 11km to the CBD. The area clearly meets the criteria for priority development.

Photos and brochure

More photos of the area.

And the brochure (coming soon).

Map of the proposed path

  • deep pink - current shortcut through the MVPGC
  • purple - proposed route
  • green - existing routes - only the stubs are shown
  • orange - quiet and safe interconnecting road route


Loading map...



Google Earth files

The Google Earth application can be downloaded for free - highly recommended.

2030

Chadstone is a Principal Activity Centre. Consequently this applies: Page 7, State Planning Policy Framework 2.5.3 SPPF Clause 18.03 Bicycle transport

The objective of this clause is to integrate planning for bicycle travel with land use and development planning and encourage cycling as an alternative mode of travel.

"Wherever possible, off-road bicycle networks should be planned for in new urban development."

Additionally student housing is growing in the area, resulting in Stonnington council putting together Amendment C61 to the Stonnington Planning Scheme. "Adequate provision of bicycle parking will be specifically set aside in all student housing developments." BBUG would like to think these students will be able to use their bicycles to access the TAFE on suitably constructed paths.

Geo political boundaries

Both Stonnington Council and the Electoral district of Malvern share the same north east corner. This corner contains the golf course and is bounded by Gardiners Creek in the north and Warrigal Rd in the east. So you know who to write to:

Email Stonnington Council now -->

Email the member for Malvern; Michael O'Brien MLA now -->