A Newcastle cafe owner said she sounded a warning to Transport for NSW about cyclists' safety at the corner of Scott and Pacific streets five months before rider Danny Egan died after falling off his bike crossing the light rail tracks at the intersection.
Mandy Johnston, the owner of the 23hundred espresso bar, said she phoned Transport for NSW in early February after she saw Newcastle light rail project workers removing a temporary sign warning cyclists to take care.
"I'd seen so many people fall, and I knew it was only a matter of time until someone was seriously hurt or fatally injured," Mrs Johnston said.
Her fears were realised on the night of July 10, when Mr Egan, an experienced mountain bike rider, fell while crossing the light rail tracks.
The father of three from Hamilton was wearing a helmet, but he suffered fatal head injuries. The 51-year-old's death is still being investigated.
What compounded the tragedy for Mandy Johnston was that she and her husband, Peter, knew Danny Egan.
"He rode everywhere," Mrs Johnston said. "He was very careful, he was safety conscious. It happened to him, so it could happen to anyone."
Since the light rail project took shape out the front of the popular cafe on the corner of Scott and Pacific streets, 23hundred has often been an impromptu first aid station for injured cyclists.
"We've ferried people home, we've waited for their loved ones to come and pick them up in vehicles, basically cleaned up a lot of blood," Mandy Johnston said.
Peter Johnston said the number of fallen cyclists they had helped would be into "double figures", and they had called an ambulance at least half a dozen times since Christmas.
"I've seen major injuries there, worse than you see in a game of football," Mr Johnston, a former Newcastle Knights forward, said.
"My staff are distressed by it. We've got customers who sit out the front and watch it. That distresses them.
"You see bikes coming down that hill and think, 'Is this one going to make it?'"
One of those injured around this site was Nick Vanveld. In late October, Mr Vanveld broke his right knee after his bicycle skidded on the tracks, which were wet with dew. Mr Vanveld said he had fallen despite crossing the tracks at an angle to avoid his wheels falling into the groove.
"To this day, I still picture how it happened, because I was dumbfounded," he said.
His leg was in a brace for about three months, and he is still receiving rehabilitation. Mr Vanveld has not ridden his bicycle since. But, when he does, "I don't think I'd ride up there again".
At the intersection, the light rail line heading east crosses from one lane to the other. Cyclists heading west have to avoid tracks that criss-cross, as well as watch for vehicles in the single lane.
When Mandy Johnston argued in February that the cyclist warning signs should stay, she received a reply from Transport for NSW, saying these were intended as only a temporary measure while something more permanent was considered.
The temporary sign has been retained on Scott Street outside the cafe.
Friends of Mr Egan are wondering when permanent measures to better protect cyclists will be installed.
"People need to be made aware that there's a problem at that corner," said Wayne Bennetts, who was with his long-time friend, watching the State of Origin rugby league on television at a nearby bar, earlier on the night Mr Egan died.
"It's been three weeks, and we've still got no signs up there ... just that little green [temporary] sign.
"We just want to prevent any sort of accident, any sort of fall, any sort of incident happening again."
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said cyclist safety signage in place met current Australian standards.
"Targeted testing of updated cyclist signage designs has recently taken place with NSW cyclist groups and will be installed in coming months along Hunter Street," the spokesperson said.
A group of investigators carried out an onsite safety audit of the light rail network last week.
The Transport for NSW spokesperson said it would review the information "to determine if there are any additional potential safety improvements that could be implemented".
Cyclists, and those working at the cafe, are waiting to see what is done.
"Whatever the solution is, it needs to be done quickly," Mandy Johnston said.