The City of Bendigo has recently released its new Walk, Cycle Greater Bendigo Strategy which sets a framework to make riding and walking more attractive in one of Victoria's biggest regional centres.
Building on the City’s Cycling Strategy (2006) and Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy (2014), the new strategy sets a framework that supports the people of Bendigo to walk and cycle more often.
The strategy was developed by incorporating feedback from the local Greater Bendigo community about what it would take to get more people riding.
As part of a reference group, Bendigo residents said that they want separation from cars, more support for organised walking groups, and see the network of trails in the greater Bendigo area completed.
As a result, a number of key projects were identified in the final strategy, including:
- Implementing the university to city centre walking and cycling route
- Linking towns to Bendigo (Huntly, Eaglehawk, Maiden Gully)
- Developing walking circuits
- Developing a Regional City Trail – linking seven existing urban trails to complete a continuous 22km trail loop around Bendigo’s middle suburbs, comparable to Melbourne’s Capital City Trail
- Developing the Bendigo Creek Low-line Trail
- Developing a protected cycleway minimum grid for the city centre
- Developing the Ewing Park Walking and Cycling Activation Hub
- Improving trail crossings and priority road crossings
The strategy also includes frameworks to assist with active travel infrastructure, developing communication plans, and developing walking and cycling plans for small townships.
In the recent National Cycling Participation Survey, regional Victoria bucked the downward trend of cycling participation, and it’s great to see Bendigo plans to continue this positive trajectory.
Ellis Street two-way bike path
The first step in delivering the university to city center walking and cycling route, is a new separated path on Ellis Street which is set to begin construction by the end of the month.
The path will give bike riders a separate stretch of pavement removed from the road and pedestrians. They will be separated from the road by plastic bollards on the inside (next to the kerb) of the parked cars.
This reduces the risk of dooring and creates a safe, separate place for people to commute to the university, or simply turn the pedals over on a nice sunny day.
Also of interest is the roundabout design which creates a raised crossing for bikes and pedestrians, and signage indicating for drivers to give way to riders.
Great plan, now let’s see the money
Bicycle Network congratulates the City of Bendigo for being forward thinking in their active travel, however as urban planner Brent Toderian has noted, ‘the truth about a city’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision. It’s found in its budget.’
More than a strategic document, we hope to see the state government and the city plan and fund the listed policies and projects to get even more people riding and walking in Bendigo.
To view the strategy in full click here.
To view the plans for the Ellis Street path click here.