Walk, Cycle Greater Bendigo Strategy
Making everyday walking and cycling easier
Walking and cycling are a person’s most simple form of independent transport and popular for recreation. The Active Living Census (2014) shows walking and cycling are the top two, year-round ways residents get regular physical activity. Walking and cycling is accessible to many and contributes to local economies and the social, cultural and mental health of our communities. The Walk, Cycle Greater Bendigo Strategy (2019) guides future decision making with the aim to make it easier for more people to walk and cycle more often.
- Walking is a person’s most basic form of independent mobility and includes the use of aids such as frames, wheelchairs and motorised scooters.
- Cycling includes all types of pushbikes used for everyday cycling, commuting, recreation and sport, this includes electric bicycles, tricycles, recumbent cycles and cargo bikes which are all becoming more common
To inform the Strategy we asked you, our community what would make it easier for you to walk or cycle more often. More than 700 face to face conversations were held, 500 surveys collected, 4 school visits held and over 1800 interactions collected on an interactive map. A Walk, Cycle Greater Bendigo Community Reference Group was established to contribute to the development of the Strategy.
The Strategy outlines a variety of initiatives and programs to make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle more often.
- 74% of residents would like to walk more often
- The most significant barriers to walking were finding time, connecting networks and safety
- New footpaths, trails and accessibility improvements, crossings maps and way finding signs were the most common suggestions for improvements
- Less than 5% of female respondents feel comfortable riding a bicycle with traffic and 25% are comfortable riding in a bike lane
- A much higher proportion of female respondents are comfortable riding on shared paths (87.5%) and cycleways that are protected from vehicles (70%)
- There is a strong demand for connecting trails, places and providing protection from motor vehicles at crossings, intersections and on-roads
Female respondents are almost twice as likely (40%) to abandon a walking or cycling journey that feels uncomfortable or unsafe than male respondents (23%) .
Key actions of the strategy:
- Establishing an ongoing Walking and Cycling Community Reference Group.
- Implementing a new walking and cycling infrastructure hierarchy and decision-making framework.
- Developing a standard walking and cycling infrastructure design manual linked to the hierarchy and decision-making framework.
- Developing walking and cycling activation and communications plans
- Developing walking and cycling plans for small townships.
- Developing sustainable plans for significant regional trails.
- Seeking support and funding from the State Government to implement key projects.
Key infrastructure projects identified for progression and/or further investigation 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.
- Construct University to City Centre Walking and Cycling Route - roundabout upgrades and protected cycleway
- Construct Ironbark Gully Public Space Corridor
- Construct Calder Highway footpath at Maiden Gully
- O’Keefe Rail Trail repairs
- Design Ewing Park Learn to Ride Park and Trail head
- Design of an underpass at Emu Creek in Strathfieldsaye
- Design a pedestrian crossing at Blucher Street, Strathfieldsaye
- Ongoing footpath program
- Healthy Hearts of Victoria, Let's Walk, Kangaroo Flat
- Ride2Work Day (Wednesday 16 October)
- Super Sunday (November) and Super Tuesday (March) recreational and commuter counts
- Join the Ride
- Walk to School
- Greater Bendigo has over 700km of footpaths, 165km of trails and 12 road underpasses for walking and cycling
- Bendigo is Australia’s first accredited Bicycle Friendly Community
- Walking and Cycling are the most popular ways residents get physical activity in Greater Bendigo (Active Living Census)
- Use of the Spring Gully Trail has almost doubled since 2015
- The McIvor Road Underpass has been recently completed
- Female participation in bicycle commuting (19%) is lower than the state (21%) and national average (22%)
- The O’Keefe Rail Trail now extends from Axedale to Heathcote (49km)