Mount Clear footpath leaves residents in fear

UNHAPPY: Mount Clear residents Shelby Briggs and Renatha Nshimirimana, with one-year-old Augustice Nvrekezi at the closed section of footpath. Picture: Lachlan Bence
UNHAPPY: Mount Clear residents Shelby Briggs and Renatha Nshimirimana, with one-year-old Augustice Nvrekezi at the closed section of footpath. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Mount Clear pedestrians have been forced to negotiate dangerous traffic on Geelong Road following the closure of an adjacent footpath.

A development on east side of Geelong Road, between Creek View Close and Recreation Road has blocked the footpath.

Residents have been required to cross to the other side during heavy traffic to access a safe footpath.

Meanwhile others have walked along the gravel shoulder rather than attempt the dangerous crossing.

The closed section of footpath, marked in red.

The closed section of footpath, marked in red.

Young mother Renatha Nshimirimana lives north of the development, with the nearest pedestrian crossing, shops and her bus stop located on the southern side.

She said she fears for the life of her one-year-old son Augustice when she is forced to cross the road.

“It feels very dangerous – imagine if I am crossing the road with my baby in a pram and I get hit by a car?” Mrs Nshimirimana said.

“I woke up one morning to find a sign saying, ‘use the other footpath’ and I thought, which footpath?

“There is no other footpath here on this side of the road – it is very strange.”

The closed section of footpath abuts a steep embankment, which is why residents have been forced to cross or walk on the road.

It feels very dangerous – imagine if I am crossing the road with my baby in a pram and I get hit by a car?

Renatha Nshimirimana

The Courier spoke with a number of residents who said school children were regularly walking along the shoulder during the peak morning traffic time.

Elderly residents on mobility scooters have also been forced to attempt to cross the road, or take their scooters onto the shoulder.

Council Infrastructure and environment director Terry Demeo said staff would meet with the developer of the project and VicRoads to discuss the issue.

“The footpath is part of a private development which requires the area to be built up one metre,” he said.

“This therefore requires an exclusion area for pedestrian safety during the construction phase.

“The City of Ballarat will meet with the contractors working for the developer and VicRoads, who have traffic management responsibility for Geelong Road as an arterial road, tomorrow (Wednesday).

“(This will be to) work through a pedestrian and traffic management plan for the remainder of the project.”

The works were expected to end in mid-December.