Bike Month events: 2022

May is Bike Month graphic

May is National Bike Month, and that means there are a lot of events taking place in the Newark area, many of which BikeNewark is either organizing, participating in, or helping promote in some way.

Whatever you choose, you are encouraged to get out on your bike during this month-long observance and try some of the trails and signed routes right here in Newark and/or bike beyond to nearby state or county venues.

Here’s the rundown.

Tuesday, May 3
Bike Delaware’s “Everyone Gets Home” Summit
Legislative Mall, Dover, Del.
See the schedule and learn how to register (free) by clicking on “Register” at BikeDE.org.

Wednesday, May 4 (National Bike to School Day)
Bike to School Day – John R. Downes Elementary School
Casho Mill Road, Newark, Del.
For info, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2sd.

Friday, May 6 (CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN)
First Friday Ride
Hillside Park in Newark, Del.
5:45 p.m.

This 4.4-mile slow ride in and around Newark is meant to be a social ride that showcases some of the city’s most rideable streets and trails. See BikeNewark.org/firstfridayrides for more info, including ride route.

Wednesday, May 18
Ride of Silence – Wilmington
2700 Pennsylvania Avenue, University of Delaware, Wilmington, Del.
7:00 p.m.
For info and to register, see White Clay Bicycle Club group event.

Thursday, May 19
BikeNewark partnership business meeting (virtual)
4:00–5:00 p.m.
If You’re interested in attending, please contact BikeNewark@gmail.com by May 18.

Friday, May 20 (National Bike to Work Day)
Bike to Work Day Celebration in Newark
Mentors’ Circle, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
7:30–8:30 a.m.
For info on this free event, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2wd.

Saturday, May 21
White Clay Creek State Park Trail Etiquette Day
WCCSP Possum Hill parking lot (off Paper Mill Road), Newark, Del.
For info, please contact Laura.Lee@delaware.gov.

Phase 2 signage completed

photo of signage at the corner of Amstel Ave. and South Main St.
Westbound on Amstel Ave. at South Main St.

Just before the new year, the City of Newark completed installation of wayfinding signage for the West Bikeway segment of the Newark Bikeways low-stress network.

photo of view in the railroad tunnel looking west
Westbound entry to Hillside Park from the railroad tunnel

This work came on the heels of the opening of the long-awaited Hillside Park, built on the former grounds of the University of Delaware’s Rodney residence halls complex.

photo of signage in Hillside Park looking toward Dallam Rd.
Westbound Hillside Park sign looking onto Dallam Rd.

As a result of this work, bicyclists can take a low-stress route from Orchard Road on the Central Loop westward to Casho Mill Road—down Amstel Ave., through the railroad tunnel, Hillside Park, and the Oaklands and Nottingham Green neighborhoods.

photo of signage at end of West Bikeway
Terminus of the West Bikeway at Casho Mill Rd.

On Casho Mill Road, just south of the end of the bikeway segment is John R. Downes Elementary School. This segment should be widely used by elementary school children who can bike to/from school through the neighborhoods it bisects. Buffered bike lanes on Casho Mill Road will help keep young bicyclists safe on the short ride to/from Lafayette Road.

photo of destination signage eastbound on Dallam Rd.
Destination signage eastbound on Dallam Rd.

Eastbound (i.e., toward the city center and Central Loop Bikeway), signage includes directional symbols or destination information.

graphic map of the West Bikeway
Map of the West Bikeway segment

Thanks goes to Delaware Greenways for its generous grant to BikeNewark, which partially funded our “phase 2” signage—for the North, Northwest, and West Bikeways segments—as well as to the White Clay Bicycle Club for its monetary support, and to the City of Newark for installing the signage.

Accomplishments in 2021

photo of beginning of bike lane buffer on Casho Mill Road

It’s been a relatively busy year for us, particularly in the advocacy department. Here’s a brief look at what we accomplished this year. As always, we would very much appreciate your support. Certainly, some of the things you’re seeing now in and around Newark would not have happened without our advocacy, and certainly not without the help of our partner organizations.

  • Surveyed candidates for the April City Council election as a public service.
photo of signs at the beginning of the Northwest Bikeway

  • Received a $2,500 Delaware Greenways’ Future Trails of Northern Delaware Coalition trail amenities grant, which defrayed a good portion of the cost of the aforementioned signs. With BikeNewark’s assistance, the City installed the signage on the North, Northwest, and West Bikeways.

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

  • Highlighted National Bike Month in May with an encouragement blitz, which included a photo contest, a weekly area-bike-ride suggestion via social media, and a “pop-up” in-person event with T-shirt giveaway.

  • Participated in a University of Delaware Police–organized safety event on campus in May by handing out bike safety–related information.

  • Partnered with Delaware State Parks and Wilmington Trail Club to plan, create, and install wayfinding signage for the Christina Valley Stream Trail.
map of ”Delaware Yield” and “Idaho Stop” states
  • Advocated successfully to the state legislature to support a bill to eliminate the sunset clause on the “Delaware Yield”–provision portion of the 2017 Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act.

  • Worked with City staff to help the City submit three project applications for Delaware Bicycle Council’s bicycling Innovative Infrastructure Grant.

  • Organized an ad hoc committee of University of Delaware staff and faculty to apply on behalf of the University to the League of American Bicyclists for “Bicycle Friendly University” status.

  • Coordinated with the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s area representative, City of Newark staff, and DelDOT personnel on signage plans for the Southwest Bikeway and subsequently ordered wayfinding signage through the City of Newark for this “phase 3” segment of the Newark Bikeways low-stress network.

  • Partnered with University of Delaware Police and DelDOT to hold a successful fall bike-safety event on campus, during which 20 sets of bike lights were installed and seven bike helmets given and fitted.

  • Successfully urged the City of Newark to eliminate on-street parking along a portion of Casho Mill Road that is part of a soon-to-be-completed Safe Routes to School project (see photo at top of page).

In addition, BikeNewark gained a net of four members this year. We have members who also participate in one or more of the following groups:

  • University of Delaware’s BikeShare Task Force
  • The Newark Partnership
  • City of Newark Transportation Improvement District Committee
  • City of Newark Conservation Advisory Committee

Contract awarded for Del. Ave. cycletrack project

On October 19, DelDOT officially awarded a $7.66 million contract for its Delaware Avenue rehab project, which will include 1) a two-way protected bike-lane configuration (a.k.a. cycletrack) on the north side of the road from Orchard Road to the Pomeroy Trail, 2) one-way separated bike lanes on both sides of the road from the Pomeroy Trail to Library Avenue, and 3) separate signals for bicyclists.

Finally.

It has been more than seven years since BikeNewark’s previous incarnation (the Newark Bicycle Committee), with encouragement from Bike Delaware’s James Wilson, had agreed during a monthly meeting to press for a cycletrack on Delaware Avenue (see artist’s conception of a potential amenity below).

2015 concept photo of possible configuration on Delaware Ave.

(Read the Sept. 2014 Bike Delaware article, written by BikeNewark’s Mark Deshon.)

In 2015, then–UD graduate student Kirsten Jones, who was a member of the then–Newark Bicycle Committee, created an informative ride-along video to illustrate the many reasons why a robust solution to increase safety for bicyclists along Delaware Avenue is needed.

A few of those reasons include…

…vehicles obstructing the current bike lane in preparation of making a right turn onto South College Avenue.

photo of cars moving into bike lane to turn onto South College Ave.

…dangers posed by contraflow (i.e., illegal westbound) cyclists in the eastbound-only bike lane.

photo of dangers of current contraflow (i.e., illegal) bicycling on Delaware Ave.

…cars parking in the bike lane in front of Newark High School, forcing cyclists to merge into vehicular traffic.

photo of cars parked in bike lanes in front of Newark High School

Of course, the DelDOT project is not expected to be completed before 2023, but the awarding of such a large contract is a sign that progress is indeed on the way!

If you are interested in supporting BikeNewark’s nonprofit advocacy efforts, please get involved at the level comfortable for you, become a member, and/or make a donation today.

Help us celebrate National Bike Month

May is Bike Month.

For obvious reasons, BikeNewark is not holding its annual May Bike to Work Day event, which typically draws close to 100 people, but we look forward to resuming this popular event in 2022. However, we urge you to help us celebrate on your own and participate in our social media contest as described below.

photo of family with bikes
Example: Family photo at the Newark History Museum, accessed by the James F. Hall Trail
Event Partners: The Newark Partnership, City of Newark, DelDOT, UD, WILMAPCO, Newark Bike Project, Bloom Energy

Celebrate bike month (virtually) in 2021 with a social media photo contest. Whatever your reason for riding, share your favorite destinations and how you get there. Message your photo to us on Facebook, tag us on Twitter with #BikeNewark, or email it to us at BikeNewark@gmail.com. Note, we can only view photos on your personal page if they are marked for public viewing.

Each post earns you a prize entry. Entries must be shared by May 25*.

Bike to Work • Bike to School
Bike to Class • Bike to Shop
Bike to Dine • Bike for Take Out
Bike for Fitness • Bike for Fun

*Note that photos may be used for promotional purposes.



Along with the Bike for Fitness and the Bike for Fitness, join us on Sunday, May 16, to learn about bicycling in Newark. Stop by between noon and 2 p.m. at our tent on the Pomeroy Trail near East Main Street for free bike check-ups, maps, t-shirts, and info.

Suggested Ride 1: “Bike the Trails”

“Bike the Trails” route map

Newark boasts two of the most popular off-road paved trails in the state. On your own or with some friends, take a nice ride around Newark on this 6.5-mile route. We care about your safety. Please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 2: “Bike for Ice Cream”

Bike for Ice Cream route map

On your own or with some friends, take a mouth-watering outing in Newark to stop at three of its local take-out dessert favorites on this roughly 6-mile route. Compare flavors, but remember, we care about your safety. Please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 3: “Bike the Neighborhoods”

“Bike the Neighborhoods route map

On your own or with some friends, take a nice ride through several of Newark’s quiet neighborhoods on this just less than 7-mile double loop. Stay in bike lanes where they exist, and please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 4: “Bike to Public Art”

“Bike to Public Art route map

On your own or with some friends, check out several of Newark’s many locations where you can view public art along this 6-mile loop. Start anywhere you like; however, there is some visitor parking off Discovery Blvd. at the south end of the map near the Tower at STAR. Stay in bike lanes where they exist, be careful when crossing the street (stay in crosswalks and follow crossing signals), and please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!

> GIS map with descriptions | text directions