This new shared path running through the park that separates Glebe Road from Railway Street at The Junction is certainly in a prime location for visibility and pleasant recreational cycling. It meanders through the tree lined parkland, conveniently close to pubs, a strip of shops, schools and many other inner city conveniences. It is right beside the busy Glebe Road, yet well and truly safe and separate from it, making cyclists visible to passing motorists yet not a part of the traffic. A truly perfect scenario for creating a liveable city!
The path is only about 100 metres long, and ends at the busy Union Street intersection, with seemingly nowhere for cyclists to go, other than onto Glebe Road or Union Street, with heavy traffic, traffic lights, parked cars, buses, pedestrians, you name it… it’s a tangle that cannot be easily navigated.
Consulting the Newcastle City Council Cycling Strategy to find out what is the vision for this area, I found the recommendation is to lower the speed limit to 40kph along Union Street. I think this has already been done, as has been done in many heavily trafficked suburbs approaching major arterial intersections. To make this lovely bike path more accessible and to generally enhance the atmosphere and safety of pedestrians and cyclists at The Junction, it would also make sense that car parking be removed from the few blocks along Union Street towards Hunter Street. It would integrate this shared path beautifully into the general movement of people in the area. There is plenty of off-street parking in this area to accommodate parking requirements, and fewer car parks, along with the addition of a highly visible shared path in this very flat suburb, may encourage many to take up cycling to The Junction, rather than taking the car.