The official coastal cycleway route from The Fernleigh track to central Newcastle has been chosen to avoid hills and use quiet backstreets. Of course this route is only one of many possibilities, however its probably the safest.
From Queens Wharf head west along the foreshore untill the fountain that looks like a metal tree, turn left and cross the road and then the railway at the Merewether St level crossing.
Head west on Hunter St then first left into Auckland St, up a slight rise and turn R onto Laman St.
Turn left onto Corlette St, follow this through Cooks Hill untill Parkway Ave, the double street with a drain in the middle.
Turn right on Parkway, 1km to the traffic lights, and 150m further to turn left onto Dumaresq St.
After 1.6 Km on Dumaresq St turn left then right onto Pokolbin St that runs at a diagonal.
Turn right onto Melville St, cross Brunker Rd, and turn left onto Teralba Rd.
After 1km on Teralba Rd, there is a difficult unprotected crossing on busy Glebe Rd. Go one block further on Teralba Rd and turn right on Victoria St which leads to Park Ave.
Follow Park Av left along the railway line, 250 m to the start of the Fernleigh track.
Future developments we would like to see for this route:
The priority issue for this route is to give it a safe crossing of Glebe Rd at Teralba Rd. There is a proposed treatment for this area in the NCC 2012 program of works that would bring cyclists along the north side of Glebe Rd to a crossing near Bourke St.
The crossing of Brunker Rd at Melville St is sometimes a problem, and this location could be improved by a conventional set of traffic lights.
In the section of Dumaresq St next to the racecourse there is a 7.4m centre strip with large fig trees and twin roadways each 6.5 m wide. This part of the route is heavily used by students of the nearby Merewether high School. Cyclists heading east are put in danger due to parking on the north side, limited width of the carriage way, and no option for cars to swing to the right to give cyclists clearance. This results in cyclists being forced too close to parked cars and the risk of dooring. This problem could be improved by restricting parking on this section, by building a cycleway along the centre strip, or by widening the eastbound carriageway. The worst cycling obstruction on this section is a wide motorhome style vehicle that has been parked in the one spot for 5 years.
The crossing of Gordon Ave at Dumaresq St should have a centre refuge to allow cyclists to cross the road in two stages. The centre refuge should be big enough to accommodate several cyclists.
Corlette St is a low traffic volume street that is part of a grid layout suburb. It would be suitable for treatment as a ‘bike boulevard’ with mid block road closures that prevent through traffic by cars, but are permeable to bicycles. The bike boulevard concept has been used in some cities as an alternative to building separated cycleways and an example from Portland Oregon is well described in a video available here.