Improving our path network in Bendigo

Bendigo’s off-road cycling and walking network is very good, but much more could be done to make it safer and easier to use.

During the Covid-19 lockdown in Bendigo, many of us had reason to get out and walk, jog, or cycle. With two young kids at home, we took every opportunity we could to ride from home (in Long Gully) out to Lake Weeroona or the Bendigo Botanic Gardens. We even had a crack at riding all the way to Crusoe Reservoir, and managed to get to Spring Gully as well. Apart from many flat tyres from the dreaded three-cornered jack, we had a ball.

However, there was 1 downside. There are several road crossings which are very dicey. For example, on the way from Long Gully to Lake Weeroona, we must cross Creeth Street, Eaglehawk Road, Prouses Road and Finn Street. They are all busy roads, and two of them are combined with railway level crossings which obscure your view of traffic.

With a bike chariot in tow, as well as an 8-year old, I found myself quite anxious crossing these roads. I am sure that such dangerous road crossings are present in other areas of Bendigo.

The Greater Bendigo Council wants to get people active by using our network of paths, but these road crossings are a serious barrier to that. In the picture above, Deb Wylie and I are standing at the Creeth St crossing in Long Gully. This is what Deb had to say about this crossing:

“There are so many cars and trucks that use this road. I sometimes have to wait more than 10 minutes to cross the road. It’s great that lots of people use this path. But at the moment you take your life in your hands.”

Deb wylie, resident and community volunteer

You can also have a look at a video of the crossing here.

As well as installing safe road crossings at high traffic volume intersections, there are several other things we could do to make our cycling and walking paths easier and safer to use in the Whipstick Ward:

  • Solar lighting for safer evening use
  • Bench seating at regular intervals
  • Refurbish damaged sections of path
  • Extend the path from Epsom out to Huntly