Bikeability Update: Combined pedestrian-cycle crossing trial

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Some exciting news!

Newcastle City Council recently announced it is trialling a combined pedestrian-cycle crossing on Victory Parade, Wallsend. Apparently the first of its kind in the Hunter region, construction is scheduled to begin in May 2016 and the 12 month trial period will commence once linemarking is complete.

Why is this important?

Cyclists are not required to dismount to use the cycle-only crossing (but should approach with caution) and motorists must give way. With ‘normal’ (boring) pedestrian crossings, cyclists are legally required to dismount.

During the trial period, users will be given an opportunity to provide feedback about the combined pedestrian-cycle crossing via an online survey. The survey will be launched three months into the trial period to give users time to trial the crossing.  A link to the survey will be on Council’s website once it is live.

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Source: http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Council/News/Projects-Works/Victory-Parade-Pedestrian-and-Cyclist-Crossing

This is part of a series of many more updates to come about how the construction of safer cycling infrastructure is progressing in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. I will rely on information made available by Newcastle and Lake Macquarie City Councils.

6 thoughts on “Bikeability Update: Combined pedestrian-cycle crossing trial

    1. There are a number of crossing points with bike lights where cyclists aren’t required to dismount. The difference with this one is that bikes and pedestrians have separate lanes.

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  1. As exciting as it is to see the council experimenting with different street layouts, a number of things about this scheme strike me as odd.

    1. Why does the shared path switch from the Northern side of the street to the Southern side of the street at all? Why not just stay on the Northern side?
    2. Right-angle turns sap speed which is undesirable. Cyclists will inevitably straighten this zig-zag out, probably by ignoring the crossing altogether. Dual-crossings make much more sense when they are in the direction of travel.
    3. Despite having priority over motorised traffic while on the crossing itself, after the crossing users of the shared path have to give way at two side streets and then cross the carriageway again before reaching Jesmond park while the road they could be cycling on has priority over both streets and doesn’t require crossing again if you’re already on it.
    4. It’s not clear if the future shared path marked on the plans is going to be built at the same time as the dual-crossing. If it isn’t there will be absolutely no purpose to the crossing. The only choice available after crossing will be to rejoin the road anyway.
    5. The plans seem to include a marked bike lane on the road in each direction as well as the shared path off the road, but only about 30m worth in total. Almost as if they know no one will use the crossing and the shared path.
    6. It seems like a very low traffic route (both bicycle and motorised traffic). Maybe the new connection will attract people away from other routes but if it doesn’t we will be judging the concept of a dual-purpose crossing using a tiny, non-representative sample.

    Based on an optimistic reading of the plans, if I were cycling this route I still doubt I’d bother using the new crossing. On a pessimistic reading I doubt anyone will use it. It almost seems as if it’s designed to fail.

    This area looks far more suitable for a 30km/h speed limit and a bike boulevarde or “fietsstraat” treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

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