It has been a very exciting week with the announcement of new bike lanes to be built along Hunter St. The visit of Jan Gehl, Danish urban planner, sponsored by Newcastle Now, will result in new infrastructure being built along our town centre. Single lane separated bike lanes will be built, making Hunter St much safer to cycle along.
I could not be happier about this. I have had a few very unpleasant experiences along this stretch and, while it looks safe enough, there are times when the traffic is quite heavy and fast and there are many cars parked very nearby. Buses are frequent and the drivers are not considerate. After my most recent ride along there about 10 days ago, I decided that I would not ride there again and would ride the back streets and footpaths if necessary, so this announcement is very welcome to me. I have written about the need for this before, it seems to me that it will fill the major void in our cycling infrastructure. While I originally wrote that a bi-directional bike lane would be suitable (as this is how the Sydney bike lanes are constructed and I imagine they would be cheaper), we are apparently going to get two single direction lanes, a much better and safer solution. This will fill the gap in our infrastructure, linking the beaches with the Throsby Creek path and also reaching out towards Fernleigh Track in the west.