The Department of Planning and Environment have published responses to the EIS.

Of the 168 submissions from the public, 112 were objecting to the closure of the Jesmond off-road shared path!

That’s two thirds of the responses, and more than six times as many objections as made on any other issue.

So are the Roads and Maritime Services going to ignore the overwhelming consensus of public opinion?

 

The issue

The Roads and Maritime Services of NSW are building the final section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond. At the northern interchange, the current plans are to remove the shared cycle/foot path between Jesmond Park and Jesmond and replace it with with not one, not two but three signal crossings, over eight lanes of traffic!

Current State.

Current State.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

The overwhelming desire of the community is that the existing path (which has been used since 1949 when the tramline was removed) be retained as a continuous off road route via an underpass, or combination of underpass and overhead bridges. The Roads and Maritime Services have received many submissions over the past few years relating to their plans but they have not made a serious attempt to solve the problem of retaining the pathThere are plenty of alternative possibilities for retaining the shared path, but the RMS seem to be not interested in listening and are intent on destroying this community facility.

The final review process is underway. Public submissions to the Department of Planning and Environment in response to the EIS closed on 16th December 2016.

Call to action

  1. Express your displeasure at the current plans by making an online submission, or you can kiss your path goodbye. Too late now.
  2. Attend the last drop-in information session to be held Thursday 1 December 2016 between 3pm-6pm at Silver Ridge Community Cottage, 13 Iranda Grove, Wallsend. Too late now.
  3. Contact your local State member of parliament.
  4. Contact your local City of Newcastle councillor.
  5. Contact the mainstream media:
    1. Ring your local radio station.
    2. Write a letter to the local newspaper.
    3. Add comments to the websites or Facebook pages of the media.
  6. Add a comment to any of the pages on this site.
  7. Talk to your friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, to let them know about this issue and this site.
  8. Use social media, blogs, websites to link to this site. It would be great if this site appears near the top of the search results list when people Google the bypass project.
  9. Suggest other action that could be taken.
  10. Suggest to me ways in which this website could be improved, or send me content to add to the site. (See “About this site” for contact details.)

 

Media coverage

The Newcastle Herald published a story on Tuesday 13th December 2016. We have some photos and a report on the protest rally held on Sunday morning 11th December 2016.

16 thoughts on “

  1. Thanks for drawing this issue to my attention. I have made a submission.
    There is a recent Lancet article which addresses the importance of considering pedestrians and cyclists in city planning.

  2. Below is my submission to the EIS

    I have looked at the plan and note there is no underpass for the existing Jesmond park cycleway to Victory Parade or to Illoura Street.
    This will force cyclists including lots of school children down to the main road crossing and have to negotiate dangerous crossings.
    Children may not wait for the green crossing with disastrous results.
    My wife and I have nearly been hit numerous times on pedestrian / cycle crossings by drivers that do not stop.
    One occasion a car was undertaking the stopped cars on the far lane on the gutter at around 70 km/h and missed us by a few CM.
    Another the driver just seemed to ignore the red light and came flying through it behind us just as we made it to the gutter.

    There is also new cycle path that goes along Victory Parade into the brickworks park that would no longer link to the Jesmond park one.

    Maybe RMS should have consulted this heatmap to see just how much this path is used and how much traffic will be slowed by repeated crossing activations.

    They even have a tool that can be used by planners.
    http://metro.strava.com/

    Note: that data only shows the strava users and does not account for the much higher number of non strava users IE: lots families with small children use that path as well as quite a lot of elderly walkers.

    Please consider making it safe for the large amount of cyclists and pedestrians I see passing through there every day.

    As a local I welcome the change of the bypass as I might actually be able to get out of Steel Street on to Newcastle road in my car during peak times.
    I don’t want to have to wait in my car at the poorly designed intersection for pedestrians and cyclists pushing the 3 crossing buttons.

    Looking at the design of the intersection it appears if someone exits the bypass on the wrong exit they can’t get back onto it as all of the lanes from the offramps are left or right turn only they do not appear to allow you to get back onto the bypass.

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