Ballarat draft footpath strategy opens for input

June 4th, 2024Ballarat draft footpath strategy opens for input

The City of Ballarat has released its Draft Footpath Construction Strategy for community review and feedback in recent days.

The City of Ballarat has released its Draft Footpath Construction Strategy for community review and feedback in recent days.

The Draft Footpath Construction Strategy guides how the City of Ballarat prioritise and fund where new footpaths are built to improve safety, transport choices, health and wellbeing, as well as supporting local economic activity and productivity.

It also identifies where new footpaths are needed most, where sealing of existing unsealed footpaths should take place, and highlights missing links in the city’s footpath network.

Feedback from the local community will inform the final Footpath Construction Strategy and those keen to participate can provide feedback on the Draft Footpath Construction Strategy up until 5pm, Sunday 23 June at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au/footpath-strategy.

The strategy features an equitable approach to the construction of footpaths, outlining a community-informed prioritisation framework for identifying which gaps in the footpath network should be built first.

The strategy is designed to improve accessibility for communities most in need including, but not limited to, carers, people with disability and those without access to private transport.

The City of Ballarat held extensive community consultation in the development of the Draft Footpath Construction Strategy.

It also helped guide the development of a number of key recommendations.

Key recommendations of the draft strategy include:

  • Undertake regular demographic analysis of population segments to ensure a clear understanding of which communities may have greater needs from the footpath network
  • Explore opportunities to apply special rate and charge schemes to footpath provision, where willing residents could help co-fund their local footpath, if the path is not earmarked for construction
  • Engage with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners on each year’s Footpath Construction Plan to support landmarks or sightlines of cultural significance near planned footpath construction
  • Investigate opportunities to improve personal security, physical safety, accessibility and connectivity of footpaths to ensure women have equal opportunities to benefit from footpath construction, and
  • Prioritise footpath gaps for construction according to a framework that prioritises primary and secondary pedestrian routes aligned to the Principal Pedestrian network, as well as local connectivity, adjacent road speed and suburb and locality footpath index of need.

City of Ballarat Councillor Mark Harris thanked the community for having their say in the first round of community consultation and encouraged all residents to now provide feedback on the draft strategy.

“Community feedback highlighted the importance of footpaths providing access to a range of local destinations,” he said.

“The draft strategy identifies a framework to promote local living so that footpaths can now be prioritised in a way that aims to provide a complete network between activity centres.

“The strategy will work to ensure footpaths are accessible to all, prioritising construction where coverage is poor, and in the locations where people have the strongest reliance on footpaths for mobility.”

Community consultation, which was held from 5 February until 3 March, worked to understand how residents use the footpath network and to gather feedback on the proposed decision-making framework.

Workshops were held with key stakeholders including the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and City of Ballarat’s Ageing Well, Community Inclusion, LGBTIQA+ and Youth Services teams. Two community pop-up sessions were also held at the Ballarat Farmers Market and the Skate Park Leagues Competition.

More than 460 residents contributed to the consultation, with 264 surveys completed and 580 contributions made to the interactive pin-drop map.

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