WORKS are underway to develop Bendigo's first separated bike lane.
The new two-way bike lane will flow along the south side of Ellis Street in Flora Hill. It will mean cyclists will share the same road as motorists, but not the same space.
The street handles traffic going to Bendigo South East College, La Trobe University's Bendigo Campus, and the Strathdale shopping precinct.
Works to develop the bike lane started in December but won't be completed until at least March, City of Greater Bendigo engineering manager Brad Martini said.
"We tried to make as much use as possible of the holiday period," Mr Martini said.
"We will need the patience of the school community throughout the project. We have been working with the school to minimise the disruption."
Similar separated bike paths have already been implemented in other parts of the state, including the Melbourne CBD.
Bike Bendigo president Nicola Dunnicliff-Wells said it was great to see work start on a similar bike lane in Bendigo.
"We have a lot of painted-line bike lanes and off-road bike paths in Bendigo," she said. "But we don't have a separated on-road lane.
"If we want people to ride more often, then we need to provide a safe environment so people feel safe to ride.
"The more we make it easy for people to choose a bike where it's appropriate, the less traffic we're going to have on the road."
Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said Bike Bendigo hoped the Ellis Street bike lane would lead to others in the city.
"We see this very much as a test case for Bendigo," she said. "It will be really interesting to see how it is embraced by the community and how motorists respond.
"We hope it shows the Bendigo community how it can be done."
Mr Martini said this first separated bike lane could pave the way for future projects in Bendigo.
"We will look at how Ellis Street operates and then see if there should be more physical separation between cyclists and motorists," he said.
"We will look at if this two-way treatment works or if there should be separation on both sides of the road.
"We have taken some pre-works data and we'll do further tests once the works are completed to see how the road is being used."
Mr Martini said residents were consulted about the plans in the lead up to the works starting.
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