KINGSTON Council has released draft plans for the skyrail precinct in Parkdale.
The state government will build rail over road to replace the level crossings at Warrigal Road in Mentone and Parkers Road in Parkdale, building a new Parkdale Station in the process. Council has engaged a consultant firm to prepare a draft framework for the area in the hopes of influencing the Level Crossing Removal Project’s final designs.
The draft document reads that council’s “vision” for Parkdale “includes a generous and well integrated public realm that offers high levels of amenity, shade and canopy cover, site-specific plantings that enhance the local biodiversity, and a material palette that speaks to the existing character of Parkdale.” Council wants to see minimized overshadowing on retail heritage areas, the re-use of structures, tree plantings, the retention of existing trees, and streetscape upgrades.
While approving the draft plans council also agreed to write to state government MPs to again outline its concerns about the project. Kingston councillors voted to write a letter “reiterating our disappointment that council was not consulted prior to the announcement of the Warrigal Road and Parkers Road level crossing removals, asking for an explanation why the announcement of the proposed level crossing removals at Parkers Road and Warrigal Road was handled so differently to level crossing removals at Balcombe Road, Charman Road and Park Road,” and “asking the government to substantiate the statement on the level crossings website that initial engineering and technical assessments have determined a rail bridge over the road to be the best solution at Warrigal Road and Parkers Road.”
Kingston Council will write to all properties between Nepean Highway, Beach Road, Bay Road, George Street, Rogers Street, Lucerne Street and Palermo Street to gather specific feedback on traffic calming, parking, and a potential vehicle crossing point between Como Parade East and West .
A survey conducted by council on the project had 1150 responses, with 76 per cent of them saying they supported rail under road instead. Last year LXRP program director Adam Maguire told TheNews that the addition of more open space was a key reason for the decision to build skyrail in Parkdale. “One of the major benefits of elevated rail is that we can create around two MCGs worth of new open space, which could be used for a new town square, walking and bike paths, playgrounds, recreational facilities, trees, other greenery, landscaping and car parking. This outcome is simply not possible with a rail trench,” he said. (“Rail bridges defended” TheNews 10/20/2021)
The draft framework will now be released for community consultation. The level crossings are expected to be removed by 2025.
First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 1 June 2022