Lake lighting to be decided by council tonight
This year I have jogged Lake Wendouree more than 100 times in the dark. The ignorant claims from opponents suggesting minimal safety impact of the proposed lighting project are frustrating. I am a mother, work full time, often with shift starting & ending in the dark - I'm one of the healthcare workers at BHS striving to see our fantastic city through this pandemic.
Dark hours are often the only chance I have to switch off, connect with our outdoor environment and maintain my mental health.Whilst the lake is the location I feel safest at night, I don't ever feel safe, alone exercising IN the dark.This is my night outing ritual.
Bulky attire to disguise my gender, hair arranged to hide length & reduce grab risk, one headphone, low volume, I use a gps watch and have a tracking app, my husband must be available to track my location until I return, I explain my direction, extensions and planned turns, always carry my phone, headlamp charged....... then I leave the house.The proposed plan would introduce the consistent lighting pedestrians need to avoid falls and attract other walkers which research shows reduces pedestrian personal safety anxiety.
Infrastructure for security camera installation will be created. Connection between night users will become possible via eye contact and smiles rather than looking away to avoid headlamp blindness.
Night lake users finances would be best invested in a quality rain jacket than headlamps. The benefits of the proposed lake lighting proposal are obvious.
Emma Spinks, Night lake user, Ballarat