Mildura Weekly : Friday January 22 Vol 10 No 11
08 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2016 By CAITLYN MORGAN THE warmer weather has prompted the Transport Ac- cident Commission to en- courage Sunraysia cyclists to look out for one another on the road. The commission’s mes- sage followed revelations that 11 lives had been lost in Victoria from cycling-related accidents, with a further 147 accidents resulting in hospi- tal visits, all during the past 12 months. TAC statistics show that no lives have been lost in Mildura, and just one ac- cident occurred resulting in hospitalisation. Mildura-Coomealla Cy- cling Club president, Rachel Kilmister, claimed these re- ports were not entirely ac- curate for Mildura, and that the safety of cyclists could improve. “I can think of two acci- dents in the last six months where they ended up in hos- pital, but a lot of the time people won’t contact the TAC as there is a lot of paper- work and it’s just not worth it,” she said. “Providing cyclists and drivers both respect each other it’s good, but things could be improved.” Ms Kilmister said that many cyclists are avoiding certain areas of Mildura and taking longer routes to stay safe. “People need better awareness of road rules and to respect each other. There also needs to be better in- frastructure for bike lanes in Mildura and better upkeep of the bike lanes,” she said. “A lot of people avoid the bridge to NSW (George Chaffey Bridge) because of the number of trucks, pot- holes and stones on the road. “The disappearing bike lanes on Deakin and Walnut (Avenues) make it difficult to ride on, and a lot of people are too scared to ride on Eleventh Street. “Eleventh Street was fixed up and widened but they didn’t put in a bike lane.” Ms Kilmister said that aside from new infrastruc- ture, Mildura needs more ar- eas with bike stands and safe places to leave bikes locked up. Safe place for a coffee needed “Cyclists also like to have coffee but there aren’t too many places that have safe and secure spots,” she said. “Even if you go to the supermarket you can’t leave your bike anywhere safe and secure, and shop own- ers don’t like you leaning against shop windows and we don’t like leaving them on footpaths or in the way of other people. “The Eighth Street bike racks in front of Coffee Town are really nice ones, we al- ways use them when we ride into town. “If we could have more around in convenient places that would be great.” Mildura Rural City Councillor for Recreation and Sport, Mark Eckel, said there are new plans for bike path routes from Red Cliffs to Mildura and Merbein to Mildura, however there are no plans for new bike racks. “Recent studies have in- dicated quite low usage of the bike racks currently avail- able in our region,” he said. “We acknowledge this could partly be due to the bike racks not being posi- tioned in high usage areas and would be happy to get feedback from the groups on where they believe the bike racks could be repositioned for optimal use.” Mildura currently has multiple bike racks located in the centre of town, includ- ing the bike hub which can accommodate 16 bikes. Peter Hodgson, owner of Hodgson Cycles and Hob- bies, said that stolen bikes in Mildura are a huge issue, and that cyclists need to lock up their bikes correctly. “Cyclists generally lock up their bike by the front wheel only, but they need to lock it up correctly through the back wheel to the front and onto something. It needs to be all locked up,” he said. Those interested in view- ing the Mildura Tracks and Trails Strategy can do so on- line at www.mildura.vic.gov. au/Publications/Council- Plans-Strategies. Safety warning for cyclists • CYCLING DANGER: Rachel Kilmister demonstrates the dangers on the George Chaffey Bridge. THE Bulk Butcher’s re- cent Christmas Hamper giveaway triggered an amazing response from Sunraysia residents, with thousands of peo- ple entering for a chance to win. The hamper, valued at $2000, featured $500 worth of meat from The Bulk Butcher, a $500 fuel voucher from Cal- tex Buronga, $500 in cash from Web Division and a $500 restaurant voucher from Andy’s Kitchen. The draw was con- ducted on Christmas Eve, providing an early Christmas present for the winner – Sunraysia’s Tania Spagnolo. Tania gets an early Christmas present from The Bulk Butcher • WINNER: The Bulk Butcher employees, left to right, Nathan Conquest, Christopher Webb and Marty Vanek present Tania Spagnolo with her Christmas Hamper prize.
Friday January 15 Vol 10 No 10
Friday January 29 Vol 10 No 12