Some easy fixes in Newcastle’s cycling infrastructure

stairs1There are black spots in the infrastructure here which can easily, and relatively cheaply,  be altered to provide a much better cycling transport system. The above photo shows the stairs which connect the upper and lower levels of Carrington Parade in New Lambton Heights. The addition of a gutter to more easily roll bikes up, or down, the stairway would much improve access to the John Hunter Hospital and to suburbs beyond, which can only be reached via a lengthy detour to remain on flat ground, or by riding or walking up a fairly major hill. Hauling my bike up these stairs is a major trauma, no wonder that all the bikes I see up at the Hospital are mountain bikes or hybrids! (With the exception of mine …)

Image from Google Streetview

Image from Google Streetview

This image of Parkway Avenue near Bar Beach shows the two sides of the street with the long park in the middle. Bike paths could easily be installed either side of the row of trees, providing a safe place for cyclists, especially on the section from Darby Street to the beach which has a slight gradient, slowing cyclists down on a fairly narrow street which often has cars parked along it.

IMG_1306Hunter Street is earmarked for a revamp to enhance cycling in the inner city, but this revamp, estimated to cost around half a million dollars, keeps getting postponed. Making this street bike friendly would greatly enhance cycling safety along the main street of the town, as it is currently terribly dangerous to ride along, yet it is at the nexus of so many cycling paths that to create a safe cycling area here could revolutionize the use of bikes in an area where traffic congestion and parking are causing major headaches for everyone using the street.

These are just a few of the glitches in the infrastructure here which I often encounter. If you know of others, whether here or in your own town, please comment about them. I find that I learn from visiting other places and seeing how things are done there. Seeing Melbourne last year gave me some of these ideas.

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7 Responses to Some easy fixes in Newcastle’s cycling infrastructure

  1. Great ideas, Hunter Street is pretty scary, I try to avoid it except for in the slower periods on the weekend. I’d love to see spaces where I’m free from opening car doors.

  2. laurent says:

    The addition of a gutter is a good idea. Sometimes I have a camera with me and take photos about safety glitch with the aim to make complaint to the mayor.

    • Vicki says:

      You should make those complaints, Laurent, it would be interesting to hear his response.

      • laurent says:

        I have helped to fixe small problems: a car, maybe stolen, parking on a separate bicycle path, a lane overgrown by vegetable …
        If you are member of bicycle or club, you could have better understanding by the head who manages traffic infrastructure.

  3. Ralph says:

    If they are closing down the rail from Wickham or Islington (or even Broadmeadow) as has been put forward a number of times, what they could do is take away the on-road parking on Hunter Street, make it a dedicated bus lane for the rail passengers as well as others, pave in the rail line and make it a dedicated cycleway – no pedestrians allowed as they have the paths on Hunter Street. However, to do this they need to build a number of car park stations in strategic places, instead of the housing/accommodation that they are putting in which isn’t really being filled. Just a thought.

    • Vicki says:

      That is an excellent idea, if the rail line is taken out. As you point out, it does need strategic planning. I really like the idea of making parking harder to find, rather than easier, as that would be enough to make a few more people think of using a bike in the inner city.

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