This decade-long project envisages seven buildings on an L-shaped block east of Worth Place that includes Wright Lane, the rail corridor and the 180-spot public car park that sits between them.
Seeking approval for stage IA, the university had initially wanted only 12 car parking spaces but after submissions from Newcastle City Council and others it has agreed to maintain the Wright Lane car park.
TODAY'S HERALD: University CBD parking by Matthew Kelly
The masterplan for the entire site sees Wright Lane as a "pedestrian boulevard through the campus operating ... primarily for pedestrians and cyclists".
As the accompanying ground plan shows, the car park land is a major part of the university site. It can be used for parking in the short term, but if it becomes a university-only car park, then that's another 180 or so places lost to the public.
And it must soon enough be built over, if the pace of the Honeysuckle expansion adheres to its original pre-COVID time scale.
The success of the NuSpace building - approved with minimal site parking - has been cited as evidence the Honeysuckle campus would work in similar fashion.
As Newcastle City centre is on a peninsula with access provided along historical road links there are limited opportunities to provide for additional network capacity within the road network during peak periods and so alternate strategies including mode shift are necessary to accommodate the long term growth of the City.UoN EIS parking and transport assessment May 2019
But the university provides 150 subsidised parking spaces in the nearby King Street carpark, and runs a two-way shuttle bus between NuSpace and Callaghan every 30 minutes between 7am to 10pm.
The EIS says this "acts as a park and ride for those staff and students who choose to drive to Callaghan and then commute to the CBD". Both initiatives show the "car-free" status often claimed for NuSpace is not as simple as it looks.
Similarly, the claim in the EIS that two-thirds of those using the stage 1A Creative Arts building will live "within the CBD or (its) environs" seems at odds with the gentrification that has robbed the inner city of a lot of its once-cheap student housing.
For all of this, though, road congestion in the CBD has not been as bad as many had feared with the light rail on Hunter Street.
Unfortunately, this is surely more to do with the dozens of empty shop fronts along the way than the success of government and council policies to promote public transport.
And that was before the dead hand of COVID made the situation even worse.
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