Problems in Newcastle’s cycling network: Union Street


Union street is an important part of the cycling network in Newcastle. It provides a direct link from Hunter Street to The Junction and Merewether and has several important arterial roads crossing it, (for example: King Street, Glebe Road and Parkway Avenue). It also goes past the No 1 Sportsground which can be utilised by cyclists to access Hamilton, Adamstown and Broadmeadow. Union Street is mainly quite wide and also has a lot of suburban residential streets crossing it or terminating at it.
Unfortunately, cycling infrastructure along Union Street is inconsistent, making it a formidable route for cyclists, which is a wasted resource as its width and location give it the potential to be a central part of the cycling network.
The above photo shows the eastern bound side of Union Street. The section allocated to cyclists is very narrow and in the car door lane. On the other side of the street, there is a very wide area for cyclists, about 4-5 metres. Merely changing the line markings on this section of road would make a world of difference to cycling here.
Further towards The Junction is a section where cyclists are directed to ride on the footpath, but then this seems to just peter out and by the time The Junction is reached, it is apparent that cyclists are not catered for at all.image
Closer to Hunter Street, Union Street narrows and in the block between Laman Street and King Street it becomes quite hectic with many parked cars and denser traffic. At this point I prefer to turn into Laman Street and head into Newcastle via Auckland Street and Civic Park.

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5 Responses to Problems in Newcastle’s cycling network: Union Street

  1. Grant says:

    That is definitely not a cycleway – its a cardoor-way! I ride along Parkway and on to Union to get to work each day. It is definitely a silly section. I believe the ramp up on to the footpath is just to get you through the set of lights (for some reason!?!?!?) I don’t use it.

    They could certainly reallocate the lane space a little more sensibly, but given the construction traffic (and soon enough that will be apartment residents), the narrower section gets quite crowded.

  2. Aaron says:

    I believe corlette st which runs parallel to union is a much better option for cyclists. It’s quiet, ample room to avoid car doors and enough room for motorists to pass with no restriction from centre lines. Yes there are a few stop signs but these are easy to negotiate. Better signage to direct cyclists would improve commuting options. There r some sections of road at certain times of the day that are best avoided. However I do believe that there should b a clearway at peak hours to provide cyclists with a decent lane to ride in uninhibited

    • Grant says:

      I don’t do corlette as I have no desire to mix it with grammar school drop offs on that narrow a street. Plus the more intersections there are, the more contention with cars.

      It is the typical “designated cycle route” (as per RTA maps) where they get bicycles out of the way of cars.

  3. Sam Reich says:

    With regard to designated Cycleways crossing numerous side streets (eg Corlette), I have proposed to council that EVERY such occurrence be marked with the green “honeycomb” paint marking used on the Hannel Street roundabout. Signage warning of a bike crossing is also imperative. This is just as necessary where the Fernleigh Track crosses roads, as where Corlette, Teralba and other routes cross intersections. (I’d prefer bicycles and pedestrians always have right-of-way at these places, but realistic that this will probably never be agreed to consistently enough to be safe in all cases.)

  4. Vicki says:

    Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! There is also some commentary on the NCM facebook page.

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