Get used to asphalt footpaths

Docklanders disappointed with the finish of the pavements in the re-constructed Harbour Esplanade need to get used to asphalt.

According to VicUrban the asphalt finish was dictated by the City of Melbourne’s policy of using only bluestone or asphalt.

And, while most of the CBD’s streets are paved with smartly-cut bluestone, it seems Docklands needs to get used to the cheaper option.

It appears apparent that council will be taking every opportunity to replace Dockland’s concrete pavements with crude road-making techniques.

In its Place Management Plan for Docklands which reports on July to December last year, the council complains about the expense of maintaining “cream coloured” pavers.

“While designs are generally compliant, the practicalities of material choices need to be reviewed,” the report said.

“For example, the ongoing nomination and installation of ‘cream coloured’ pavers in both road and footpath areas needs to cease.  This is a major maintenance cost issue for council into the future.”

“It is also a source of considerable concern for resident groups from an amenity and presentation perspective.  Their position is understandable and is considered reasonable.”

“Council’s preference is sawn bluestone for the main street footpath areas however this cost is one that developers do not accept and have so far refused to change this position.  Cost wise, this is understandable,” the report said.

The president of the Docklands Community Association Roger Gardner said light-coloured paving at NewQuay needed more cleaning maintenance, but this did not mean that asphalt was preferable.

“We like the light colored paving which clearly is more attractive than asphalt,” Mr Gardner said.  “It does, however, show up dirt and stains more as a result of which we have requested council to carry out more frequent cleaning.”

“Council’s Citywide contract provides for quarterly cleaning only of footpaths but that is totally inadequate for light colored paving and we have had to resort to removing some stains ourselves.”

“Council is not happy however with the associated cost increase which apparently is causing them to review the type of paving used in new works. Some would argue however that the use of light-colored paving should be retained in appropriate places because of its attractiveness despite the extra maintenance cost.”

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