MOYNE Shire councillors have directed the council to act on two petitions calling for new footpaths in Port Fairy.
The council in February received a petition with 31 names for a new footpath to be installed on Ocean Drive between Mills Crescent and Anna Catherine Drive, connecting with existing paths to the east.
But residents on social media and through consultation expressed a lack of support for the paths, saying they wanted the area to remain "informal".
The council will now investigate an unsealed track on the southern side of the road, which would widen an informal trail through the area and link with beach access tracks.
An alternative is to investigate putting a footpath on the south sideMick Wolfe
"A majority were opposed to having it on the north side," mayor Mick Wolfe said.
"For several reasons. A lot of people didn't want their front nature strip turned into concrete.
"An alternative is to investigate putting a footpath on the south side ... it does need something there because people are walking on the roadway and kids are riding on the roadway."
The council received a second petition with 29 names for a footpath along Model Lane and the Princes Highway, between Sandspit Road and the rail trail.
The petition gathered interest on social media after Leah Oswin raised concerns about walking on the roadside with her three-year-old daughter.
Councillors unanimously voted to refer the construction of that footpath to the 2019-20 budget at an estimated cost of $90,000.
The petition says that local tradespeople have offered to reduce the cost of the project by about $30,000, including digging out the footpath and laying the concrete, but the council is yet to formally consult the tradespeople.
The footpath would abut the SunPharma factory, which the council says could potentially also contribute some of the funds.
"It is an important little link that gives pedestrians a formal footpath and links them into the rail trail to get into town," Cr Wolfe said.