Safety for Brown Hill Track Crossing

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Thousands of locals use the Yarrowee River Trail in Brown Hill every day! Walking dogs, jogging, bike riding, pushing prams, kids on scooters, walking with friends, heading to school, work and so on. 

And every day, dangerous and careless drivers speed through the Ainley Street crossing without a second thought. 

Right beside the Nerina Wetlands the Yarrowee River Trail crosses Ainley Street, however there is little to NO safety for pedestrians and cyclists crossing this stretch of the track. 

  • There are no speed humps to slow drivers down as they approach the crossing
  • There are no street signs that there is a crossing ahead
  • There are no street lights for sunrise and sunset hours as visibility declines
  • There is no footpath on the adjoining streets to allow pedestrians and children on bikes / scooters or people on mobility scooters to enter the track safely

This crossing is particularly dangerous for a number of reasons:

  • It is located right before and after a tight bend in Ainley St. 
  • Ainley Street is used regularly by drivers as a "short cut" from Invermay, Black Hill and Ballarat North to get to school, work, highway etc faster (even though it is NOT faster or shorter in distance)
  • As we well know when drivers are in a "shortcut" mindset, they tend to drive more carelessly and faster to make sure the shortcut is indeed shorter! 
  • With an ever increasing population on the outskirts of Brown Hill and surrounding suburbs and more dense development in the Brown Hill area (including Ainley St, Reid St and Humffray St Nth) the increase in traffic continues, as does the risk to pedestrians and cyclists on these streets and particularly on this crossing of the bush track.
  • With the Brown Hill Kinder located very near by in Reid Ct, families often use the track and the nearby streets that are treated as shortcuts. 
  • Being located on the outskirts of Ballarat, the top end of Ainley St (the hill overlooking the wetlands) is OFTEN used by hoons as a spot for burn outs, skids and anti-social behaviour. (We recently had someone doing burnouts at the top of the hill, burn around the bend past the crossing and lost control at the front of our home missing the street lamp post by centimetres, and thank goodness our young son was not playing outside at the time!) 
  • And not only does the dark (non street lighted) section of Ainley St encourage hoon behaviour; it is also very difficult for drivers to see the intersection of Hillcrest Rd and Ainley St when approaching from Lofven St. Many a car has gone off the road onto the grass and gravel sides in the dark. 
  • And at the bend where the crossing goes over Ainley St, many a car has gone off the road into the ditch. 

Therefore, I believe, and hope that others will join me in petitioning the City of Ballarat for safety features to make this section of Brown Hill and the walking track much safer for pedestrians, cyclists, families and children! 

We would like to see:

  • Speed Humps either side of the Yarrowee River Trail (on Ainley St)
  • A proper raised pedestrian crossing would be even better! 
  • Adequate signage to slow down for pedestrians before the bends
  • Street lights at the top end of Ainley St (to deter hoons and make the approach to the steet easier to see)
  • Footpaths from Ainley and Reid Streets for pedestrians, people using mobility scooters and children on bikes / scooters and parents with prams to access the walking track safely. (the current dirt track on the side of the bridge is not safe or accessible for prams, mobility scooters or kids on bikes).