Separated cycle ways, new dedicated green spaces and wider streets to improve pedestrian and traffic flows will be built in the City’s emerging CBD following the adoption of the West End Stage 2 - Streetscape Plan.
The West End improvements were given the green light from Councillors last night after 85 per cent of those surveyed during the 28-day public exhibition period put forward their support for the plan.
How Denison Street could look under the new urban streetscape designs
Of those surveyed, 93 per cent said they supported an increase to green spaces, while 89 per cent agreed that better cycleways and public domain improvements – such as an increase in public art – were important to them.
Traffic improvements, alfresco dining options and the creation of ‘rain gardens’, self-watering, low-maintenance gardens designed to protect our rivers and creeks by capturing stormwater that runs off hard surfaces when it rains, also received support across the nine survey questions.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the results showed the public was behind the City’s vision for the future.
“It shows that there is a strong appetite for people to see our vision to create a vibrant, connected and liveable city, realised,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Together with our plans to upgrade Birdwood and Little Birdwood Park as part of Stage 1, we will create a safe, accessible precinct around the Newcastle Interchange where vibrant streetscapes will encourage more public and active transport use.
“Both plans will support the growth of Newcastle’s new CBD in the west and cultural precinct in the east.”
Steel Street, looking north, with wider streets and new-look paving
Five green spaces totalling an area larger than a football field will be built in the west to reduce the risks of a ‘heat island’ effect, which see built-up urban areas become significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas.
A safe, separated east-west cycleway in the Stage 2 plan will stretch from Wickham Park to Union Street along Hunter Street’s southern edge, running between the footpath and a new island bus stop with greenery outside the “Spotlight” corner.
Another separated cycleway will run north from National Park to Honeysuckle along the western side of Steel Street better connecting the Junction and Merewether with the harbour foreshore.
New crossings will also be created for pedestrians along Hunter Street as part of the Stage 2 upgrades.
The City will update the community when the construction timetable is determined.