Areas of Brown Hill where there are no footpaths, dangerous intersections and a lack of safe crossing infrastructure is putting children, parents and other pedestrians at risk, according to locals.
Mother-of-two Louise Jones says the safety of local roads is a concern for many parents with increasing numbers of children at local schools and kindergartens, and rising traffic levels.
"I've lived in the area for 20 years and seen the growth over those years of housing estates built on the outskirts of Brown Hill and Invermay and the traffic is getting busier and busier," she said.
With the housing growth in our area and the lack of any new infrastructure for pedestrians and children, it's just so dangerous, running a gauntlet to get to and from school each day.- Louise Jones
"A number of surrounding streets on the way to school and kindergarten in this area don't have footpaths which is dangerous with a pram and a young child on a bicycle. And on a busy morning we could wait up to five minutes just to cross over Humffray St Nth to get to school."
Three years ago Ms Jones ran an online petition calling for crossings along the Yarrowee River Trail at Stawell St and Ainley St but despite garnering 250 signatures from locals nothing has changed.
And it's not just Brown Hill, but other older established area in Ballarat face similar issues.
Last year, after she slipped on wet grass and her son fell off his bike in to mud during a walk along a road where there are no footpaths, Ms Jones called council to complain and while they created a 5m gravel path at that spot it has done little to improve safety throughout the area.
"Cars fly around the bend on Ainley St without slowing down, and in winter we are trudging through mud and wet grass just to get to school and stay off the busy roads," she said.
Ms Jones said the push to get more children riding and walking to school, which would also help reduce traffic levels in the area, needed to be matched with safe infrastructure.
"It's great to encourage more kids to get on their bikes or walk to school. But with the housing growth in our area and the lack of any new infrastructure for pedestrians and children, it's just so dangerous, running a gauntlet to get to and from school each day."
Ms Jones said she had seen and heard of several near misses between children and cars.
"We have to remember these are children who are not equipped with the road sense of mature adults," she said.
One spot of particular concern was the intersection of Humffray St North and Thompson St where many people cross.
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"There's the church, sporting ground, kinder and school but there's no pedestrian signs, no lights, and no roundabout to slow drivers," she said.
She said many people in the area drove their children to school because they felt it was safer.
"I would really like council to come out and assess the area, not just focus on the new areas of Ballarat. These older areas ... things are different these days. There's more traffic, more people and what used to be little quiet suburban areas are now busy thoroughfares."
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