Wodonga Council lights the way

Wodonga council plans expansion of solar pathway network as the number of people walking increases

There are more than 100 solar lights illuminating paths across Wodonga with another 47 new lights to be installed in the next stage.

Deputy Mayor Cr Brian Mitchell and Manager Sport and Recreation Liona Edwards met with the founder of manufacturer Leadsun today to showcase the project and discuss the next stage.

The lights are along the House Creek trail through Wodonga including Belvoir Park to the Gateway Island with linkages to Birallee Park, David Bishop Park, Arthur Dunstan Park, Frank Krier and George Looms Park, Westlands Park, and James Taverny Park.

The next stage will cover Parkers Rd and Moorefield Park Drive to the underpass at Wodonga TAFE and complete the link from Forrest Mars Ave to Belvoir Park, a total of 47 new lights.

This continuation of path lighting will complete key linkages to the existing path networks already benefitting from previous installations and connect to major community facilities including Wodonga TAFE, Victory Primary School and La Trobe University.

The lights provide lit access to Wodonga CBD, schools, hospitals, sporting reserves and other amenities, and help increase perceptions for safety, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve natural surveillance.

Manager Sport and Recreation Liona Edwards said the rollout of the solar lighting project enhanced the extensive pathways network that was well-used by the community.

“The solar lighting project is an initiative that aims to enhance personal safety, deter antisocial behaviour and create improved levels of connectivity in the community,” she said.

Automated counters installed on each of the city’s key walking and cycling corridors – the House Creek Trail, the High Country Rail Trail and the Stock Bridge leading to Albury – show just how well-used our pathways are by the community.

Counters have shown an average of 101 per cent increase in usage during the past two months compared to the same time last year.

The latest path counter data taken along the House Creek Trail and the High Country Rail Trail showed that during the months of March to May, while the full COVID-19 restrictions were in place, more than double the regular users were making use of sections of the trails while gyms and sports clubs remained closed.

Helped by the newly sealed surface and furniture recently installed along the Rail Trail, average daily users increased by up to 171 percent near Whytes Rd and 89 percent closer into the CBA, while the recent addition of solar lighting assisted the House Creek Trail daily usage to increase up to 177 percent out by Clyde Cameron Reserve.