Banning bikes from 340 metres of road may seem a minor setback in the context of the NSW government's decades-long Revitalising Newcastle project, but it is symptomatic of an ad hoc approach to planning.
The state has forked out a lot of long-overdue money in Newcastle after years of neglect, but have the funds been well spent?
Much of the landscaping work and the tram itself have been completed with a high level of finish, and the Market Street Lawn area achieves the urban renewal project's main aim of opening up the city to the harbour.
Facilitating a university campus in the central business district is likely to be another positive long-term outcome for the city.
But other aspects of the $650 million program and the Honeysuckle redevelopment have been less popular.
It is now clear from this week's safety audit of the eastern section of the light rail route that the government did not plan adequately for how bikes would co-exist with the tram.
As Newcastle Cycleways Movement president Sam Reich told the Newcastle Herald on Monday, it is not as if this is a problem the city has inherited from a bygone age.
"This is a main street of the town, and the fact is we just built it and now we're saying, 'Oops, we can't have cyclists here,'" he said.
To not consider properly how cyclists would ride safely along the city's dominant east-west axis appears a careless oversight.
Even the Property Council of Australia, representing the very industry designed to profit most from unbridled development, advised as far back 2015 that the rail corridor be preserved as an "east-west cycle transitway".
History shows the government ignored this advice and sold off parts of the rail corridor to developers while running the tram down Hunter Street. It then issued a cycling strategy which offered the impractical idea of a bike path in King Street.
Newcastle is now left with a council plan for a dedicated cycle path from Newcastle West to Union Street, at which point riders will be left to their own devices if they want to travel further east.
- Jodie Egan calls for improved road safety
- At least 10 cycling crashes at light rail "problem" intersection
- Newcastle revitalised, but not for cyclists
- Council revives cycle path for Hunter Street
- Mounting accident toll a clear sign of problem
- Kirkwood: Hunter Street now a very different thoroughfare
- Auditor-General slams lack of planning for light rail project
But cyclists are not the only ones paying the price of a planning strategy which has placed the interests of property developers above all.
Inner-city business owners have suffered from the decision to remove parking along most of the tram route, to the extent they are now preparing a class action against the government.
And the search for a new bus layover to replace the depot near Newcastle railway station has created headaches for residents and bus drivers.
As one resident who lives next to the tram line in Scott Street told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday: "The light rail itself is a good idea, but how it's been implemented is poor, and unfortunately we're all going to be [stuck] with that for the next 50 or 100 years.
"It was poor planning to start with. That's regardless of whether or not you believe the heavy rail should have stayed, or whether the light rail should have run on the heavy rail corridor.
"The way it's been implemented with the loss of car parking, the narrow sections east of Market Street, there's no car parking, there's inadequate passing for cyclists and cars. Poor idea poorly implemented.
"$368 million for a little over two kilometres of light rail. It will never pay for itself, despite the best intentions. And, therefore, $368 million poorly spent, and that makes me cranky."
And the government has still not produced a business case for extending the line into the suburbs.
The rise of the latest seven-storey apartment building on the Honeysuckle waterfront also poses the question whether the government has made another Crowne Plaza mistake in blocking harbour views while creating a gloomy wind tunnel along Honeysuckle Drive.
The state's big spend has spurred a rush of residential and commercial development but, at this point, created a city unfriendly to cyclists, retailers and motorists with a sometimes pretty, sometimes overdeveloped waterfront.
It could have been better.