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Macedon Ranges Shire Council faces backlash for ruining ‘best autumn view in Australia’




A council in Victoria’s northwest has been accused of “destroying” a picturesque tourist destination popular with photographers and influencers, after erecting signs to improve safety.

Macedon, a regional town 62km from Melbourne, is home to a famous stretch of road called Honour Ave — a spot which has become increasingly popular with tourists due to the tall, vibrant trees that line either side of the road.

The spot is particularly popular during autumn, when many flock to capture the new auburn colours of the leaves.

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However, a move by the Macedon Ranges Shire Council has angered many people who frequent the spot.

No Standing signs have been placed along the road in the lead-up to April, when the region’s famous Autumn Festival is set to kick off.

Tourists and photographers flock to Honour Ave in Macedon for the picturesque view during autumn. Credit: Instagram

The signs are to ensure the area remains safe amid the increase in visitors to the area.

Some photography enthusiasts have taken issue with the sign placement, saying they “destroy the best autumn view in Australia”.

“They could put the signs up parallel to the road which would still advise people of the parking restrictions without hampering the view so much, but that won’t happen,” freelance photographer Jay Town wrote on social media.

“The council have at least tried to blend the signs in where possible, but there are still about 10 of these eyesores standing perpendicular to the road and ruining the perfect autumn postcard.

“Please just twist them 90 degrees so they are parallel to the road. They aren’t speed limit signs, so they don’t have to be so in-your-face.”

Many agreed with Town’s take on the signs, with one person commenting: “The irony of the council placing signs in a way which detracts from a spectacle that they themselves promote is quite eye-watering!”

A week before the signs were installed, photographer Tiffany Warner posted a picture of Honour Ave on Instagram with the caption: “Getting in before the signs pop up.”

Alongside the No Standing signs, other temporary measures put in place by council for the Autumn Festival include speed reductions and road closures.

The No Standing signs are temporary during the Autumn Festival. Credit: Getty Images

Macedon Ranges Shire Council director of planning and environment Rebecca Stockfeld told council has worked “proactively” to implement additional safety measures throughout April for several years.

“We do this to not only for the safety of the influx of visitors eager to experience the region’s stunning autumn leaves displays, but also to maintain the amenity of our beautiful towns and support our residents,” she said.

“There are a number of factors behind the placement of the temporary No Standing signs ... such as needing to be clearly visible to motorists from a distance and not obscuring roadside trees.

“We don’t want to obscure views where possible and we want to strike the right balance, but the signs need to be functional and installed safely, above all.”

The Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival runs from April 1-30.