Newark shines with silver!

The City of Newark is now a League of American Bicyclists (LAB)–recognized silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC). It is the only municipality among the three BFCs in Delaware to have achieved this level and one of only 116 communities in the nation to hold this honor. A bronze-level BFC since 2010, Newark was one of only four communities that advanced from bronze to silver status during the past year. Currently, there are only 41 communities nationwide that boast a higher BFC status than Newark.

BikeNewark is proud to announce that Newark is now a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community!

As part of its commitment to be a great place to live and thrive, the City of Newark (with help from BikeNewark, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, DelDOT, and the Newark Police) re-applied this past winter for LAB’s prestigious award, hoping that enough progress had been made over the past four years to secure a long-awaited promotion to silver status.

> City of Newark press release

City manager Tom Coleman said of the award, “I am proud that the League of American Bicyclists recognized Newark’s commitment to improving cycling and making it accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their skill level or experience. This achievement reflects years of consistent focus to enhance cycling infrastructure from our residents, advocates like BikeNewark and Bike Delaware, DelDOT, and City staff, with a goal to create a community that is healthier and less dependent on cars for our day-to-day needs.”

It has long been a goal of BikeNewark to have a best-in-class transportation system that serves everyone who lives in, works in, or visits our community, and that includes building a community more accessible by bike. Today, we’re especially proud that Newark has been duly recognized for its achievements over the past few years.

graphic showing number of Bicycle Friendly Communities by rank

“When we build an America where bicycling is truly safer and easier for everyone,” notes Bill Nesper, executive director of the LAB, “we are strengthening our nation’s economic vibrance, environmental welfare, and mental and physical well-being. That’s why we’re proud to celebrate all of the new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in our movement to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.” 

Nesper continues, “This round of awards is a testament to the community leaders and local bike advocates who are joining the League in raising the standard of what it means to be a Bicycle Friendly Community.”

People across our community are biking more than ever—for commuting, for trips to the store or other errands, and for recreation. The silver-level BFC award recognizes both BikeNewark’s and the City’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike—through investments in bike education programs, bike events that promote and encourage people to choose biking, pro-bike policies, and bike infrastructure.

BikeNewark chair Bob McBride stated, “We are pleased to celebrate this award and our achievements toward building a better community with our seven partner organizations, and we thank them for helping us advocate for the progress that has taken our community to this level.”

logos of City of Newark, UD, Newark Bike Project, DelDOT, Delaware Greenways, WILMAPCO, and Bike Delaware

James Wilson, executive director of Bike Delaware (one of BikeNewark’s partner organizations), said of the award, “There was a huge amount of work by BikeNewark behind this recognition that a lot of folks either will not remember or never knew about in the first place, but we [at Bike Delaware] remember all of that.”

McBride added, “I believe that the recent completion of the one-of-a-kind-in-Delaware, two-way protected bikeway on Delaware Avenue, envisioned nearly nine years ago, contributed greatly to this silver-level recognition. It is a key piece of the Newark Bikeways low-stress network that BikeNewark has been working with the City to develop and which we hope will be fully functional within a couple years.”

Learn more about LAB’s Bicycle Friendly Community program at

Trail connectors project underway

Coming on the heels of the Emerson Bridge project completion in 2022, the City is moving forward with plans to construct two off-road paved trails, one through Kershaw Park and the other through Olan Thomas Park, which will connect the bridge with the Pomeroy Trail. The project began in January 2023 with a meeting of engineering representatives from Pennoni Associates, City staff, and members of BikeNewark to discuss design project issues and parameters, around which Pennoni will design.

photo of planned connector trails

This project had long been in BikeNewark’s plans for connecting the bridge, once built, to Curtis Mill Park and then adding wayfinding signage north and east along Old Paper Mill Road to complete the Northeast Bikeway segment of the Newark Bikeways network. This segment will provide lower-stress options for residents in neighborhoods along Old Paper Mill Road to bike in a couple directions, either downtown or to points north and west of Newark.

Along with generous funding from New Castle County, project funding has been earmarked in the City’s 2023 budget.

Accomplishments in 2022

One could argue that 2022 was a “slower” year for BikeNewark in terms of progress, but there were a lot of positive happenings with which we’ve either advocated for or been directly involved in that have recently come to fruition. Below is a list of our activity during 2022.

Received $625 in funding from the White Clay Bicycle Club to be applied to the Newark Bikeways project.

Witnessed and helped publicize the completion of the Delaware Avenue two-way protected bikeway, the result of a project BikeNewark (in its prior manifestation as the Newark Bicycle Committee) had advocated for in 2014 with partner organizations Bike Delaware, the City of Newark, DelDOT, and the Wilmington Area Planning Council.

> See excerpt from June 2014 partnership meeting minutes (PDF)

NBC10 News video – November 2022

Helped install new bike racks at John R. Downes Elementary School.

Completed wayfinding-signage production and installation for the Southwest Bikeway as part of the Newark Bikeways low-stress bicycle network project.

Created a new two-page bicycle-safety document, which is both downloadable and available as a handout; it includes a Delaware Avenue bicycle-infrastructure graphic produced by DelDOT, “4 Safety Tips for Bicyclists,” along with ticklers (with QR codes) for a Main Street sharrows video, a Main Street contraflow-lane video, and the Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act. 

photo of County Executive Matt Meyer
County Executive Matt Meyer talks about progress made and big plans for the future.

Highlighted National Bike Month in May with our annual Bike to Work Day event on the campus of the University of Delaware, in coordination with UD, DelDOT, Newark Bike Project, and others.

Supported John R. Downes Elementary School for its annual Bike to School Day celebration in May.

Partnered with Delaware State Parks and the Wilmington Trail Club to complete the installation of wayfinding signage for the Christina Valley Stream Trail.

Reviewed project proposal options for bicycle improvements along the Wyoming Road corridor as part of the City of Newark’s bicycling Innovative Infrastructure Grant it received from the Delaware Bicycle Council.

Began work with the City of Newark on its renewal application for “Bicycle Friendly Community” status.

Executed an order and paid for wayfinding signage for the South Bikeway and for signage that will complete the Central Loop Bikeway. 

Partnered with University of Delaware Police and DelDOT to hold two successful bike-safety events on campus, during which about 40 sets of bike lights were installed, about 15 bike helmets were given and fitted, and bicycle-safety information was distributed.

Partnered with University of Delaware Police and Newark Bike Project in a UD-sponsored event where bicycle-safety information was distributed.

Participated with Newark Bike Project at a Newark Center for Creative Learning fair, where safe-cycling materials were distributed to students and parents.

photo of First Friday riders on Pomeroy Trail

Organized and held three First Friday Rides community events—slow group rides that are meant to encourage those of all ages to enjoy bicycling and practice good group-riding etiquette. 

Supported and participated with Delaware State Parks in trail-etiquette events at White Clay Creek State Park.

Attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony (during which BikeNewark support was cited) for the Charles R. Emerson Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge over the White Clay Creek, for which we had advocated.

Participated in and hosted a booth at the annual Newark Community Day event.

Increased membership by 52% (added a net of 14 new members) during the calendar year.


  • Members participated in (and continue on) The Newark Partnership.
  • A member participated (and continues) on the City of Newark’s Transportation Improvement District Committee.
  • A member participated (and continues) on the City of Newark’s Conservation Advisory Committee.

Officers elected for 2023-24

At BikeNewark’s December 15 partnership meeting, election results were announced for the four members who will serve as BikeNewark’s board officers in 2023-24.

photo of Bob McBride
Bob McBride, Chair

Bob McBride was elected as Chair for a third two-year term. He grew up in Newark and retired here after a long career at a private school in Pennsylvania. In the past, he has been a member of the White Clay Bicycle Club. In addition to having led BikeNewark over the past four years, Bob currently serves on a committee in The Newark Partnership. He is an avid recreational bicyclist and bird-watcher.

photo of Kevin Monahan
Kevin Monahan, Vice-Chair

Relatively new BikeNewark member Kevin Monahan will become our new Vice-Chair, succeeding Karen Rosenberg. He is a family-cycling and commuting enthusiast with a heavy focus on cycling safety. He has been cycling competitively since his youth in road, time trial, and triathlon events. Kevin is a current USA Triathlon Rules Official, a two-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, and owner of Amos Digital—a marketing agency focused on e-commerce brands for swimming, biking, and running.

photo of Karl Hassler
Karl Hassler, Treasurer

Karl Hassler was re-elected for his third two-year term as Treasurer. He also serves on BikeNewark’s Engineering Committee and was a key player on the ad hoc Organizational Committee back in 2016 as well as with the 2020 updating of BikeNewark’s bylaws. A retiree from the University of Delaware, Karl has also been a member of the White Clay Bicycle Club. He enjoys bike trips while traveling the country. He’d remind you that if you can’t support BikeNewark with your time, you can always donate to help enhance our efforts.

photo of Michael Smith
Michael Smith, Secretary

Another relatively new BikeNewark member is Michael Smith. He is excited to be joining the BikeNewark board as Secretary, succeeding Christine Schultz. In his day job, he works as Executive Director for the environmental nonprofit Powering Our Future, based out of Pike Creek. Michael has been a huge fan of cycling throughout his entire life and has not missed a single stage of the Tour de France (watching, that is) for the past 12 years. He is also a member of The Newark Partnership and the Newark branch of the NAACP.

McBride, Monahan, Hassler, and Smith will each be serving during 2023-2024, consistent with BikeNewark’s bylaws. Board member elections are held at the end of even years; board members must be Individual Members of BikeNewark, as defined in the partnership’s bylaws. The partnership thanks Karen Rosenberg and Christine Schultz for their service during the previous two years.

Note: Our partnership meetings are open to the public and typically are held on the third Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. Want to help? Get involved!

Delaware Ave. cycletrack completed

On Thursday, November 10, 2022, DelDOT officially opened to bicycle traffic the completed two-way protected bikeway (a.k.a. cycletrack) on Delaware Avenue. Eight days later on November 18, dignitaries came together for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

> See ribbon-cutting article in the Newark Post

diagram of DelDOT-sourced illustration
DelDOT diagram of the two-way protected bikeway infrastructure on Delaware Avenue
photo of paint treatment in conflict zone
Solid green surface treatment in conflict zones

This brought to a close a nearly $8 million project that was first thought about in the 1990s, included as a recommendation in the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan, and advocated for by BikeNewark’s predecessor entity in 2014.

> See excerpt from June 2014 partnership meeting minutes (PDF)

Protective beveled concrete curbing separating bikeway from vehicle travel lane

The primary motivation for such a project was to provide a safe, legal way for bicyclists to move westbound through Newark’s downtown area. Previously, the only legal way for bicyclists to get from Library Avenue or Kirkwood Highway to South Main Street, West Main Street, or New London Road was to use Cleveland Avenue or East Main Street—both higher-stress options for cyclists, even with the recent improvements to those two major streets.

Bicycle-specific traffic signals in both directions along bikeway

Amenities for bicyclists along Delaware Avenue that were included in this project:

photo of bike signal meaning sign
Bike-signal sign explaining red, yellow, flashing yellow, and green signals
  • a two-way protected bikeway from Orchard Road to the Pomeroy Trail, separated from the traffic lane by a 3-inch-high beveled concrete barrier
  • one-way elevated bike paths on either side of the road from the Pomeroy Trail to Library Avenue
  • separate bicycle-specific traffic signals in both directions
  • green surface paint through intersections and at conflict points (e.g., driveways)
  • bike boxes at the eastern and western ends of the project (Delaware Avenue / Library Avenue intersection and the Amstel Avenue / South Main Street intersection)
photo of bike box on Del. Ave. at Library Ave.
Bike box at Library Avenue intersection

This completion of this project finishes the final segment of the Central Loop Bikeway, the hub of the Newark Bikeways low-stress bicycle network. Wayfinding signage for the Delaware Avenue portion of the Central Loop will be added in 2023.

> See related Newark Post article
> See project history article
> See DelDOT project safety flyer (PDF)

Thanks to these partner organizations—Bike Delaware, DelDOT, the City of Newark, and the Wilmington Area Planning Council—for their support and involvement in the conception and construction of this infrastructure, pretty much a unique feature in Delaware.