Further information is available about upgrades to High Street in Belmont that include easy and comfortable bike connections and it’s time for bike riders to make sure we get the best result.
Geelong council has released four potential design options for the street and are asking for community feedback to help inform the decision on the final design.
The project is seen as an opportunity create an appealing shopping, dining and social destination, rather than simply putting in new bike lanes.
Bikes will no doubt benefit the strip however, with streets that are accessible by bike and comfortable to ride on able to generate a greater financial turnover.
There are various studies from around the world showing the impact bike-friendly streets can have, including research from Melbourne which found that because six bike riders can fit into the same space usually reserved for cars a more money is spent overall by visitors.
The council are aware that to truly invigorate High Street they need to embrace bikes, however there will likely be opposition from traders with a blinkered view who still believe in on-street parking.
One of the options put forward for consultation, listed as number 1, is for bike riders and cars to share the road without separated or protected bicycle lanes installed so that there is no loss of car parking.
This will probably be supported by traders and others who are yet to realise that car-choked streets are not actually good for business.
Option 2 is a riding and parking compromise, with separated bike lanes installed and some on-street car parking retained.
The bike lane designs are split into options 2A and 2B, with 2A proposing a two-way path on the western side of High Street and 2B suggesting one-way paths on both sides of the road.
The third option is probably the most brazen, but also has the opportunity to create an excellent environment.
It includes removing all on-street parking and directing motor traffic to off-street car parks to give room for protected bike paths on both sides of the road and wider footpaths.
There would also be more space for outdoor dining and plus more trees and green zones.
Full information about each option is available here and a video has been made showing how each option may work.
A survey is available online for the community to complete and there are some community sessions at the Belmont Library where people can chat with the council.
Belmont feedback sessions at Belmont Library
- Saturday 18 August – 9:00am to 2:00pm
- Tuesday 21 August – 9:00am to 12:30pm
- Wednesday 22 August – 12:30pm to 5:00pm