2019 was another busy year for BikeNewark. Following up on its successful endeavors in 2018, there were many opportunities for interacting with the public and working with our partner organizations. In fact, by the close of the calendar year we had formalized a partner relationship with Delaware Greenways—our seventh and newest partner. This first article of the new decade summarizes the various ways we contributed toward Moving Bicycling Forward in Newark, Delaware, last year. We hope you’ll consider supporting BikeNewark this year as we continue working for the good of the community.
OK, here’s the summary.
With respect to its core mission of bicycle-advocacy work, BikeNewark:
- Continued to consult with and provide input to Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson on the Delaware Avenue two-way protected bike-lane project, as engineering plans were finalized.
- Completed wayfinding signage design work and oversaw production and application of signage, in coordination with the City of Newark and DelDOT, on “phase 1”—the Central Loop Bikeway—of the developing of the low-stress bicycle network—“Newark Bikeways.”
- Began and completed wayfinding signage design work on “phase 2” of the Newark Bikeways project, which includes a North Bikeway, Northwest Bikeway, and West Bikeway.
- Formally added Delaware Greenways among its official partner organizations.
- Advocated on behalf of the bicycling community at various City Council meetings, including supporting 1) the Emerson Bridge (over White Clay Creek) project and 2) the preservation of the bike lane on Delaware Avenue during DelDOT’s Main Street construction project.
- Submitted two New Castle County Bicycle Plan “priority project” proposals for funding consideration—Newark Bikeways development and protected bike lanes along Wyoming Road.
BikeNewark-organized and/or -supported events held during 2019 included
- The annual Bike to Work Day event (co-organized with the City of Newark) on the University of Delaware campus on May 17. More than 80 participants came to the event, which was sponsored by Bloom Energy and four in-kind contributing organizations. The event featured coordinated rides to the venue, free breakfast, speakers from the University of Delaware community and city and state government, the annual Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award presentation, and random prizes (including a Trek hybrid bike).
- A weeklong series of events called “Community Bike Days” from Sept. 3–7, culminating in a Saturday morning Community Fun Ride comprising a 2.25-mile “Family Fun Ride” and a 8.25-mile “Newark Loop Ride.” This signature ride event included 97 participants and raised more than $4,000 from sponsorships, which will be used to improve bicycling in Newark. The weeklong series included 17 in-kind contributing organizations.
- Two Community Nights—June 22 at Handloff Park and October 26 at Wooden Wheels—to familiarize the public with BikeNewark and highlight its ongoing projects. Each included free food and drink.
- Two Bike Central events in cooperation with the University of Delaware, Newark Bike Project, and DelDOT, one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall event was particularly successful, during which more than 20 sets of lights were installed and 5 helmets were given out free of charge.
- Nine First Friday Ride events (March through November). These social slow rides through Newark averaged about 15 participants.
Our public service work involved:
- Executing and posting results of a City Council and Mayoral candidates survey in advance of the April municipal election.
- Redistribution of bike-safety flyers in four non-English languages—Spanish, French, Chinese, and Arabic—to the English Language Institute. These were based on the “4 Safety Tips for Bicyclists” cards that had been printed in English in 2018 for use by partner organizations.
- Volunteering at and helping sponsor the Walkable/Bikeable Delaware Summit in May, which was organized by Bike Delaware, one of BikeNewark’s partners.
- Hosting an information table during Newark Community Day (September 15).
- Developing a budding relationship with The Newark Partnership.
- Participating on the city’s new Transportation Improvement District (TID) committee.