From Wednesday 27 January 2021 parking on the Main South Road nature strip across from Drouin Secondary College will be prohibited to protect tree root systems from further damage and make the area safer for drivers and pedestrians.
The changes are the result of inspections carried out in October 2020 following concerns raised by Friends of Drouin’s Trees and Council’s Urban Maintenance staff regarding the deteriorating condition of the area. The inspections revealed health-threatening damage to the root systems of the surrounding angophoras, as well as significant damage to kerbing and the general degradation of the entire grassed median.
Left unchecked, the damage to the root systems caused by cars parked on the nature strip can cause dieback, limb failure and even tree death, posing a significant safety risk to Drouin Secondary students, staff, parents and other Main South Road users.
To prevent further damage and provide safety to the community, timber bollards and no standing signage will be installed this week and Council Urban Maintenance staff will carry out works to repair damages and reinstate the condition of the nature strip. Council’s Community Compliance team will also begin to carry out parking inspections following the installation of signage.
Previous attempts to address the situation include the installation of rubber kerbs and regularly mulching the areas surrounding the trees. These methods have however proved insufficient to deter parking in the area.
Understanding the impact of the changed parking conditions for students, families and staff, Council engaged Drouin Secondary College in discussion prior to the implementation of the new restrictions. Advanced notice of the impending changes was provided by Drouin Secondary College to families in their December newsletter.
A planning application is currently with Council for land at a neighbouring block to be leased to the school for expanded parking, however the application is in the initial stages and its outcome has not yet been decided.
In the meantime, drivers are encouraged to park on Main South Road Service Road, Hatfield Drive, Colin Street and Wade Street.
Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss
“We know parking at Drouin Secondary College is limited so this decision has not been taken lightly. Unfortunately, safety concerns have been raised about parking damage to the nature strip and its impacts on the long-term health and safety of the avenue of trees along Main South Road. Inspections were carried out and they show that allowing parking to continue on the nature strip just isn’t safe long term – not for the trees, and not for students, staff and parents. The change may not be convenient, but it has to be done to keep people safe.”