Shared off-road pathways will be built in Swan Hill’s McCallum and Beveridge streets thanks to a joint Council and TAC project.
Swan Hill Rural City Council was one of 23 Victorian councils to be awarded a share of $1.2 million under the TAC’s LGA Small Infrastructure Grants Program.
The program encourages councils to develop solutions to local safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians. TAC data shows these road users account for more than 1600 serious injuries across the state each year.
Mayor Michael Adamson said $100,000 from Council and $100,000 from the TAC would be used to build two sections of sealed off-road pathways to cater for cyclists and pedestrians.
A new shared pathway will be built on McCallum Street, between Stradbroke Avenue and High Street, along the Swan Hill Showgrounds boundary. The crossing on Stradbroke Avenue will also be upgraded.
The existing footpath on the west side of Beveridge Street, between Nyah Road and Pritchard Street, will also be upgraded to make it a shared pathway.
“At the moment, cyclists share these busy sections of road with cars and large trucks. These off-road pathways will make it safer for cyclists, but also create a new path for walkers,” Cr Adamson said.
“This project fits well with Council’s renewed focus on active transport and we hope the new pathways give people the confidence and facilities to do more riding and walking around our city,” he said.
Council expects to start work on the new pathways early in 2015.
TAC chief executive officer Janet Dore congratulated Council on the grant, saying it would make the local community safer and more cycling and pedestrian friendly.
“Whether you’re on two wheels or two feet, if you are involved in a collision with a car, you will come off second best. The projects funded under the first round of this grants program are all about creating safer walking and cycling areas to prevent these types of collisions,” Ms Dore said.
“Local authorities are in a great position to identify local safety issues and this grant recognises Swan Hill Rural City Council’s work to overcome them,” Ms Dore said.
The TAC received 94 applications from 52 Victorian councils. In August, local governments were invited to apply for grants of up to $25,000 for planning and researching innovative safety treatments. Councils with plans already in place were also eligible to apply for matched-funding grants of up to $100,000 to cover the cost of implementing the new infrastructure.