THERE are a number of reasons to like the idea of a proposed pathway linking South Bathurst with the Denison Bridge.
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Bathurst Regional councillors Kirralee Burke and Jess Jennings have talked about the exercise and recreational benefits as they advocate for the path and cycleway to be built along a route that would roughly follow the Queen Charlotte Vale Creek and then the Macquarie.
But here's another good reason: it would help Bathurst make more of its water views.
It must be a curiosity for some visitors to this city that the Macquarie meanders almost unnoticed through South Bathurst and along the edge of the CBD before it becomes such a feature through the Bicentennial Park and Japanese Garden area.
Those coming into town on the Great Western Highway, meanwhile, could be forgiven for not realising they are entering a river city at all considering the muted, understated Evans Bridge crossing.
It's a stark contrast to the many inland cities that make such a selling point of their rivers - having paths and parks clinging to the water at every opportunity and pointing visitors to them on every second corner.
One of the main reasons for Bathurst turning its back on the Macquarie in the past, of course, would have been practical - the risk of flooding.
But times (and levee banks) have changed and it's hard to think of a good reason not to have paths elsewhere, if practical, in a similar style to the ones that run on both sides of the river between the Denison and low level bridges.
For an indication of the popularity of those existing paths, simply find a shady spot and count the number of people that go past: from the huffing joggers of the Saturday morning Parkrun to the morning and afternoon exercisers and everyone in between.
There will be those who say a city with an almost $100 million infrastructure backlog (as described by deputy mayor Ben Fry) should not even be contemplating a project such as a new river path.
But by that measure, council also shouldn't be contemplating an extension to the Carrington Park grandstand or a continuation of the annual Bathurst Winter Festival or any of the other non-infrastructure-backlog ways in which it spends its money.
No, the path is worth thinking about and talking about. And if it's built, it will definitely be worth walking.
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