Nov 142013
 

IMG_5346_2BikesCount report for Tuesday 29th October, 2013

22 spotters counted cyclists for 2 hours from 7am till 9am. Weather: cloudy but dry morning, although the forecast was for thunderstorms in the afternoon. Total cyclists 1810 , of whom 19.4% were female. We counted parent-child pairs, as they are an indication of cycleway safety. 17 pairs were recorded, down from 27 last October.

Location Tues Oct 2013 Tues Oct 2012 Tues Mar12 Tues Oct 11 rain TueMar2011  
Route 6            
Honeysuckle Dve, west 122 (late*) 165 202 152 195  
Route 6, Hannel St   127 138 90 109  
Route 6, TAFE 128 113 110 81 110  
Route 6, Waratah Stn 72 79 65 39 68  
Route 6, Maud St 57 57 57 39 47  
Moore St near Regal     47 17 47  
East west            
Jesmond Park/JHH 71 66   50    
Howe St-Croudace Rd            
Turton Rd/ Sports centre 104 103 111      
Showground, Markets.            
Beaumont St/ Donald St 105 XXX 115 79 105  
King St /Markettown 91 85 89 61    
Civic Park corner 95 92 109 57 96  
Coastal Cycleway            
Fernleigh /Kalaroo Rd 115 144   94    
Fernleigh Track/Dibbs St 185 205 175 125 159  
Glebe Rd/ Teralba Rd 117 119 112 92 108  
Dumeresq / Gordon Ave 92 86 81      
Parkway / Union St   96 104 59 95  
Stockton Wharf   33   21    
             
Mackie Ave/St James Rd 95 103 97 78 93  
Dixon Park/ bathers way       23    
Bathers Way/BarBch 29          
North South / Kotara 42 XXX 36 27 50  
Glebe Rd/ Gordon Ave 44 49   50 40  
Industrial Dve/Tourle St   42 23 26  
Industrial Dve, William St          
Queens wharf   165      
Booragul/ 5 Islands     28    
Wheeler Pl / Merwether st 119          
Bank Corner 98          
Bar Beach- Bathers Way 29          
Wallsend-Glendale-nth 9        
Glendale (sth end) 14 (1 hour)          
Morissett. Acacia 15          

*Counted on 5th November

Comparing like with like, the 12 sites that were counted in October 2012 and 13 showed a decrease from 1332 to 1253, a decline of 6%.

For the first time we counted in 3 time slots, 7 till 7:30 / 7:30 to 8:30 and 8:30 till 9am. Across all sites together, the proportion of cyclists seen during these times were 23.6%, 53.1% and 23.3%. The locations that varied from this pattern were the CBD locations with 10-15% in the first half hour, and the Fernleigh Track spots with 35-40% of the cyclists seen in the first half hour.

Of note is the count at Glendale for the first time, a 1 hour count from 7:30 to 8:30. Fourteen cyclists were seen, of whom 10 used the Glendale-Wallsend track. In the same hour 87 people travelled the Fernleigh track. Glendale –Wallsend is not highly used, and many people do not know it is there. Last October we counted the north end and saw 9 cyclists in 2 hours.

We counted two locations on Hunter St, in view of the proposed cycle lanes. At Wheeler Place 71 people made some of their journey on Hunter St, and at Bank Corner 67.

It is great to see more people using cycleways,a sign that more cycleways means more people commuting on bikes.

Nov 032013
 

There is a new shared path being constructed in Adamstown, on Glebe Road, where the footpath used to be. This will make bike travel between Fernleigh track and the city or the university much simpler, especially around the problematic area of the Adamstown rail gates. Updates on this work and how it fits into the current infrastructure will be posted here when the work is completed.glebe rd path

Oct 252013
 

P1000688Fernleigh Track is reopened after it was closed due to the recent Gateshead fires. The fires have certainly changed the atmosphere of the track for that section, but we all know the Aussie bush regenerates after such an ordeal.  I’m looking forward to watching the regrowth happen over the next few months as I ride the track.

Clearing the undergrowth as has happened has highlighted the number of existing mountain bike tracks.  I have ridden some of them in that area, but had no idea just how many there are.

 

Aug 052013
 

There is a new bike path under construction on the Pacific Highway near Scenic Drive. This path will connect Fernleigh Track to Merewether via Fernleigh Loop and Faul Street.

merewether

IMG_7164

IMG_7161

 

Here are some more photos from 16th August. This will be an excellent link and RMS are to be congratulated for building this so quickly. Its a bit unfortunate to have the light poles in the path, and we hope this does not make it difficult to get a road sweeping machine along it occasionally. The crash barrier between cyclists and cars will make this section much safer, and the retaining wall is wide enough that there shouldn’t be debris falling onto the path. Lets hope the light poles are decorated with reflective tape, and have a line marking to direct unobservant cyclists away from them.

 

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Jun 062013
 
IMG_6236

Photo credit: Vicki Coughlan

Location Sunday May 2012 Sunday May 2013    
Route 6        
Honeysuckle Dve, west end 175 220 126%
Route 6, Hannel St 137 189 138%
Route 6, TAFE 113 100 88% Note:1 hr x2
Route 6, Wartah Stn 46
Route 6, Maud St
Moore St near Regal cinema
East west        
Jesmond Park/JHH
Howe St-Croudace Rd 32
Turton Rd/ Sports centre 66 79 120%
Showground, Markets. 82
Beaumont St/ Donald St 86
King St /Markettown 72 69 96%
Civic Park corner 91 80 88%
Coastal Cycleway        
Fernleigh /Kalaroo Rd 198 285 144%
Fernleigh Track/Dibbs St 224 257 115%
Glebe Rd/ Teralba Rd 114
Parkway / Union St 58
Stockton Wharf
Mackie Ave/St James Rd 68 88 129%
Dixon Park/ bathers way
North South / Kotara 28
Glebe Rd/ Gordon Ave
Industrial Dv-Maitland Rd 47
Industrial Dve/Tourle St
Industrial Dve, William St 68 65 96%
Queens wharf 148 148
Booragul/ 5 Islands
Glenrock/ Gunclub Rd 100
Nobbys Breakwater 72

 

BikesCount report for Sunday 26th May 2013

 

Twelve spotters counted cyclists for 2 hours from 8am till 10am, on a bright but cold morning. Total cyclists 1577 , of whom 18% were female. This is a lower proportion of females than last year, (26%). We also counted parent child pairs: 34 =2.2%

Total for comparison, same sites 1360 vs 1580 = 16.2% increase. There is a trend of increasing numbers on the best tracks ie Fernleigh Track and Throsby Creek and mixed results elsewhere. This could also be because lower numbers are more prone to random fluctuation.  At this rate cycling will double every 4.5 years.

The number of cyclists on the Fernleigh and Throsby Creek tracks just keeps going up, with more patchy results elsewhere. We believe this is because many new people will cycle where they feel safe, and that the best place to build cycleways to get high use would be where they connect to and extend one of these popular existing routes.

We will do another count on a Tuesday in October, and will have to recruit some new counters to keep the coverage up.

May 212013
 

Dudley 

There is a plan to extend the Fernleigh shared path into Dudley along a corridor that once was the rail line into the Dudley mine. This branch line into Dudley was built in 1892 extending from the Fernleigh rail line in order to service the coal mine which was located at the site of the sports fields.  After the rail line closed in 1939 it became an access route for Dudley residents who would walk down the track to get passenger trains which ran till 1967 on the Fernleigh line.

In 1977 a Newcastle residents group (NCM) was formed with the aim of ensuring that these rail lines would not be submerged by urban development. Work commenced on the Fernleigh cycleway as a joint venture between Newcastle and Lake Macquarie City councils. In 1999 a draft plan was completed which detailed all the routes, including the one into Dudley along the rail corridor. The Fernleigh track is now considered to be one of the best 10 Cycleways in the world, largely due to the almost unspoilt natural environment of the track which isolates it from the urban surroundings. Its popularity amongst residents and tourists shows that there is a great need for more of this type of facility, especially if it services schools and connects community facilities.

After the Dudley branch line closed part of it became Foxdale Ave. and the cutting at Burwood road was filled in as a replacement for the bridge that used to take car traffic over the rail line. The path from Burwood Rd to the Fernleigh Track and the Railway to Ocean St. cuttings have became overgrown with weeds and choked by debris. Pedestrian traffic is now small and those that do walk through use rough walking tracks on top of the cuttings.

LMCC conducted a survey in 2012 that overwhelmingly showed support for extending the track along the old railway line into Dudley. There was also a belief by council that there should be a path into Charlestown and to accommodate this the pathway group submitted a modified plan that meet this requirement. See the attached Maps. The new plan uses all of the proposed Dudley to Fernleigh path but extends this by using existing pathways from Whitebridge school and safe streets along the Flaggy creek reserve. This amended plan as shown now connects with 3 schools, the Charlestown swimming pool and shopping center.   For the more serious bike rider it would provide an alternative loop that could take in Dudley and Redhead with visits to the Awabakal Nature area for the nature lovers or a choice between the pubs in Dudley or the Churches in Redhead.  

The benefits that would result from this path are numerous: it would provide a safe path for students to the schools, encourage healthy activities of walking or cycling, decrease car usage and road congestion, and with continued landcare work will convert what was once a waste land into an attractive natural bushland setting. The actual pathway will be the old rail line which will only occupy about 3m of the corridor owned by council. This corridor ranges from 15 to 25m in width which means that the planned regeneration program will see a 5 to 10m buffer zone between residents and track users. Within the cuttings the track will be up to 5m lower than the adjacent houses and residents will be unable to see people on the track .

Principals at the schools have been supportive of the plan as were the Cycleways movement and most residents. There are some issues to be resolved, everyone wants a cycleway and council does not see this one as important as others. We have suggested that LMCC should use a low impact approach to the construction, minimizing fencing and using compressed gravel rather than tar or concrete for the path. However some would prefer a harder surface, which is more suitable for prams and wheel chair use. Opinions on this approach and to other issues differ so please let us know your thoughts.

Dudley Pathway GroupCharlestown

May 202013
 

FernleighWhen riding the Fernleigh Track in Newcastle, it is advisable to ride at a speed that will allow you to safely negotiate pedestrians and other cyclists on the Track. While much of the Track will be unoccupied, allowing for faster safe travel by bike, there will inevitably be sections where there are pedestrians and multiple bike riders competing for space on the Track. When you are confronted with a situation where you  may end up 3 abreast, it is best to slow down so you can safely pass other users of the Track. Also, use your bell as a warning to those in front of you who may not be aware of your presence.

Apr 162013
 

Newcastle Cycleways Movement is supportive of the recently announced plan to install separated bike lanes along Hunter Street. This will link  the major bike  tracks such as Route 6 which goes from the centre of Newcastle to the Callaghan University campus and the designated onroad route to Fernleigh Track. The current onroad connection to Fernleigh Track will also be further upgraded by Newcastle City Council with improved signage and infrastructure as part of this initiative, making Fernleigh track more accessible from the city centre. Plans for this upgrade include lights at the crossing of Brunker Road and Melville Road, although the problem of a safe crossing of  Glebe Road near Teralba Rd has not yet been solved. This will make it possible to ride from the centre of Newcastle to Fernleigh Track in about 20 minutes.