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Wodonga Council Plans Expansion of Solar Pathway Network as The Number of People Walking Increases

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

Wodonga Council’s sport and recreation manager Liona Edwards and deputy mayor Brian Mitchell met with Matt Pollard, director of Leadsun Australia, to showcase the project and discuss the next stage.

The solar path lights are along the House Creek trail through Wodongaincluding David Bishop Park, Arthur Dunstan Park, Belvoir Park to the gateway Island with Linkages to Birallee Park, Wetlands Park, James Taverny Park, and George Looms Park.

The next stage will install 47 new solar path lights to cover the Parkers Road section and Moorefield Park Drive to the underpass at Wodonga TAFE and complete the link from Forrest Mars Ave to Belvoir Park.

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

The lights provide lit access to amenities such as Wodonga CBD, schools, hospitals, sporting reserves, etc. They help increase perceptions of safety, reduce anti-social behavior and improve natural surveillance.

Wodonga Council sport and recreation manager Liona Edwards said the rollout of the solar lighting project enhanced the extensive pathway network that was well-used by the community. She also said that the solar lighting project is an initiative aiming to enhance personal safety, deter antisocial behavior and create improved levels of connectivity in the community.

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

Counters have shown an average of more than 100% increase in usage during the past two months compared to the same time last year.

The latest path counter data is taken along the House Creek Trail and the High Country Rain Trail. It is shown 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. In the meanwhile, gyms and sports clubs are still closed.

Benefitting from the newly sealed surface and furniture recently installed along the Rail Trail, average daily users increased by up to 171% near Whytes Road and 89% closer to the CBA. The recent addition of solar path lights assisted the House Creek Trail’s daily usage is increasing up to 177% out by Clyde Cameron Reserve.

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