Ballarat eyes a bike-friendly future

The next link in Ballarat's vision of becoming a bike-friendly city with a well-connected network of paths is a three-kilometre off-road path along Learmonth Road.

The route is part of the City of Ballarat's Ballarat Cycling Action Plan 2017-2025 and fills a missing link between Wendouree train station and the suburb of Miners Rest.

City of Ballarat Mayor Councillor Des Hudson says the new safe, separated path is suitable and safe for inexperienced riders, school children and confident commuters.

"I encourage everyone to head out and give it a try to enjoy the new connection," says Hudson 

The council is working on other important projects for riders, too. On the other side of town, a proposed 3.4km bike path along the Glenelg Highway in Sebastopol is out for public consultation.

The community can now have their say on the draft plans and share feedback on the location of rest stops, seating and crossings.

The project will be built in stages and ultimately provide a separated connection between the Yarrowee River Trail and Delacombe Town Centre. See the map below and have your say here.

Meanwhile, a problematic intersection in central Ballarat has received much-needed attention from the federal government.

As part of the $25.6 million Black Spot Program to improve safety at 57 dangerous crash sites around Victoria, $615,000 will go towards construction of a new roundabout at Dana Street and Raglan Street, which features splitter islands and separated pedestrian and bike paths.

These types of roundabouts, popularised in the Netherlands and often referred to as Dutch-style roundabouts, are designed to better protect bike riders by separating them from traffic.

The UK's first Dutch-style roundabout appeared in Cambridge in 2020, and another recently followed in Ireland. Victoria's first such roundabout was introduced in East Melbourne in 2020. The design might become the standard in Canberra as the ACT government considers new best-practice intersection design.

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