I was walking along the Bellarine Rail trail on a winter’s day. The walk was nice and relaxing and it was great seeing the Acacias in flower.
Soon I needed to go back to the Portarlington Road to catch a bus to get into work. As I waiting at the bus stop. The speed of the cars sound echoed in my ears. Vroom vroom! It is very loud and noisy and it is hard to hear myself think.
Right next to the edge of the bus stop. I noticed an old pair pruning shears embedded in the ground. They were beautiful made. I picked them up and noticed they have some rust on them. But I’m sure they could sharpened up or they are greatly missed. So if they are yours I will return. Looking at the pruning shears it inspired me.
To me the Portarlington Road is a fantastic commuter road that connects the beautiful Bellarine to Geelong. Recently, vehicle crash wire barriers have been installed along a large section of the road from Curlewis to Moolap. A big upgarde to the road.
These vehicle crash wire barriers are high tension wires to stop cars from running off the road to potential hit a tree, a pole or a ditch etc. They are very useful and effective engineered devices that will eventually save lives.
However, as a landscape architect I believe they can be improved. For starters the heavy continuous wire doesn’t align to the beautiful Bellarine landscape. We need something more Bellarine specific. Something that is not so ordinary and monotonous.
Looking at the pruning shears and my local knowledge of the Bellarine. What if all the high tension wires had viticulture grown on them? Imagine kilometers and kilometers of grape vines. All the colour and seasonal changes would provide an aesthetically pleasing solution. A solution that is site specific and matches into the Bellarine landscape.
Potentially every post could have a vine planted on the safe side of the road. The crash barrier wire provides the support to the vine. A single irrigation line could also run the length to make it very efficient.
Maybe this idea could create another local business opportunity? Maybe the grapes could be sold to wineries and to provide another sustainable revenue stream? What if the money could be used to raise awareness into road safety campaigns?
Finally, the plantings may reduce the noise of the road. If everyone that drives along the road is driving along a winery. Surely, you would slow down to enjoy the scenery and not go as fast.