Bendigo's first separated bike lane opens

Bendigo’s first separated on-road bike lane is now open for people who ride bikes.

Works started on the bi-directional or two-way lane late last year which runs along the south side of Ellis Street in Flora Hill.

The $445,000 project was funded by the City of Greater Bendigo, Transport Accident Commission and Regional Roads Victoria to greatly improve access and safety for people who ride bikes.

The street is a key route that links Bendigo South East College, La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus and the Strathdale shopping precinct.

The fully-separated lane is now complete with green paint and bike traffic counter installed by the council.

Most on-road bike lanes in Bendigo are located between the traffic lane and the parking lane with only a white line separating bike riders from traffic.

Seen as a test case for Bendigo, if a success, the new Ellis Street bike lane could pave the way for other separated lanes across Bendigo.

Despite a mixed reception initially, with some confusion around retaining carparking, the on-street changes are now widely accepted. 

Bike Bendigo President Nicole Dunnicliff-Wells congratulated the City of Greater Bendigo on the newly constructed cycleway. 

“The new protected cycleway looks fantastic – we are delighted to see this sort of infrastructure in Bendigo, which makes bike riding an easier travel option.

“This is a first for Bendigo and is a critical section of the ‘university route’, which links La Trobe University and Bendigo South East College (BSE) with central Bendigo via the popular Back Creek Trail,” Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said.

Bicycle Network took a trip to the regional centre to check out the (partially) completed lane back in March as part of a visit which included a information night and social ride with Bike Bendigo, Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail and local Bicycle Network members.

Bi-directional bike lane design is not widely used in Victoria as they are only suitable in some circumstances where there are limited crossings or driveways. A section of Ellis Street runs adjacent to a park, making bi-directional a suitable option. 

Once lockdown measures are lifted, we look forward to seeing the lane bustling with riders of all ages and abilities.