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|
|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|
|Howe St-Croudace Rd|
|Turton Rd/ Sports centre||104||103||111|
|Beaumont St/ Donald St||105||XXX||115||79||105|
|King St /Markettown||91||85||89||61|
|Civic Park corner||95||92||109||57||96|
|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|
|Mackie Ave/St James Rd||95||103||97||78||93|
|Dixon Park/ bathers way||23|
|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||–|
|Booragul/ 5 Islands||–||28|
|Wheeler Pl / Merwether st||119|
|Bar Beach- Bathers Way||29|
|Glendale (sth end)||14 (1 hour)|
*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.
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.
We now have maps of the best riding Newcastle has to offer, available on our maps page.
Please note that Newcastle Cycleways Movement does not recommend that cyclists cycle where there are bike pictures in the car door opening lane. These road markings do not indicate a legal bike lane and it is NCMs understanding that they are gradually being removed from the infrastructure.
There is a new cycle path near Elizabeth Street in Carrington. The shared pathway connects Carrington Foreshore along Elizabeth Drive taking cyclists off the main road and linking up to an existing shared pathway along Linwood/Throsby Creek to Islington Park. The work will improve safety for recreational cyclists as this is a busy street commonly used by trucks to access local industry. This new path will also improve safety for commuters and other utility cyclists. Carrington has consistently had the highest rate of cycling as a journey to work in the Newcastle in the census data and it provides a vital link for cyclists to the cycleway network.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Newcastle Now last night hosted an exciting evening of speakers who are all contributing to the future of Newcastle. Jan Gehl was the keynote speaker and he has been contracted by Newcastle Now to design new separated bike lanes along Hunter Street, Newcastle. This, along with other initiatives, is designed to revamp Newcastle, making it a more liveable city. Gehl, in his modest, urbane European manner, gave a brief overview of the history of city planning, and how cities had grown to accommodate cars, especially since the 1950s. But cars are not friendly to the concept of a liveable city, and soon the piazzas of Europe became car parks. Over the past five decades, city planners gradually reduced the parking available for car parking and encouraged the use of public transport and bikes to create the more pleasant urban spaces now evident in all major European cities. Mr Gehl highlighted that this could also become a reality in Newcastle, with the promise of new bicycle lanes in our city centre to realise this wonderful vision for our city.
You will learn the impact and opportunities of the City’s Urban Renewal Strategy, and be inspired by world-renowned guest speaker Jan Gehl.
Jan is Professor of Urban Design and the inspiration behind public design in New York, Copenhagen, and Melbourne. He received a DOT’s Commissioner’s Award for exceptional contribution to New York City Streetscape and the Public Realm. His publications include Cities for People, Life Between Buildings, and New Urban Spaces.
Register here for this event.