Problems in Newcastle’s cycling network: Dumaresq Street

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The eastbound side of Dumaresq Street in Broadmeadow is a dangerous area to cycle. This is exacerbated by the fact that it is part of the designated route connecting Fernleigh track with Newcastle.
The cycling lane is far too narrow and runs close to parked cars. The cars alongside this lane have little room to move due to the totally vertical edging of the nature strip that extends along the centre of the street. This edging has recently been reconstructed, leaving little doubt that it is not intended to be moved to allow more room for cyclists. So if a dooring incident takes place, a car is not going to have room to move to avoid a swerving cyclist. Added to this, the street is straight and flat, encouraging drivers to drive faster. (The speed limit is 50k along this strip.)
I usually ride along there even though I am aware of the dangers. There is a parallel street nearby but it has an uphill section and is more difficult to enter from the western end. I find that most drivers along Dumaresq Street are polite and wait for an opportune moment to pass safely, which is reassuring.
By contrast, the westbound side of Dumaresq street is perfectly safe to ride along as it is not legal to park there, though occasionally some do. The bike lane is well marked and wide and provides an opportunity to cycle fast in a safe environment. It is a pity about the poor conditions on only one side as this street is very well shaded and this provides a pleasant cycling experience.
I am going to be focussing on some of Newcastle’s problem cycling spots over the next few weeks and would welcome any input into this is terms of either suggested improvements to the problems or areas to focus on and analyse.

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4 Responses to Problems in Newcastle’s cycling network: Dumaresq Street

  1. i have noticed on this east bound section of dumaresq street a lot of unused personal items such as cars, caravans and boats left on the public roadway—this public resource roadway is for the mobility of people —so road users should first be catered for and then parking–not parking and road users can fit in———-that,s why the government declares clearways when they see fit to enhance traffic flow

  2. Anna Kasper says:

    Hi there, I too ride Dumaresq and like it because the surface is good and it’s flat. IMHO, I think you’ve got more urgent spots for attention: Maud St crossing to the uni, foreshore from Scratchleys to Nobbys – it’s SOOO cluttered, it would be great to get clear about where we should ride, where walk. And I’m not sure what your city plan is now – is there any oxygen in making KING st the east-west cycle route between Brown and Stuart Ave, NOT Hunter, as it’s already full of ?light rail, buses, emergency vehicles, cars? This idea came up during Council’s Hunter St consultations in 2011, never saw it gain traction. FYI, best regards

    • Vicki says:

      Those are areas that need fixing too and some of them are being worked on. Eg Maud st crossing. The Hunter St/King St problem is as yet unresolved due to the rail line issues there. I think that is the most pressing issue in Newcastle at the moment but what I am trying to do here is to get feedback on certain areas that are problematic and can be easily fixed or avoided and also alert others to the problems. There are no doubt people riding along Dumaresq St unaware of its dangers because it appears to be fine.

  3. Vicki says:

    There are also comments on this post on the NCM facebook page.

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