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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.

Additionally,

  • 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.

Emerson Bridge dedicated

photo of sign at the foot of the bridge

The relatively new bike/ped bridge over the White Clay Creek has been utilized by the public now for several months, but on Wednesday, Aug. 10, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT)—one of BikeNewark’s partner organizations—held a special ceremony to honor Charlie Emerson, for whom the bridge is named.

photo of Charlie Emerson
The honoree—former Newark Parks & Recreation director Charlie Emerson

Emerson, the former director of the Newark Department of Parks & Recreation, was there with his family to celebrate the dedication of this bridge. The concept was initiated back in 2011 while Emerson was the Parks & Rec director, but the development, fundraising, engineering design, and construction of the Emerson Bridge took about ten years in total to accomplish.

photo of Dave Sokola
State Sen. Dave Sokola

Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski, who emceed this event, emphasized that her department now thinks in a multimodal way when it comes to transportation. She cited all the partners who provided support and/or funding for this $2 million project, including BikeNewark. Special thanks was given to New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer for getting the county to step up to help fund this project in a big way. Our local state legislators—Sen. Dave Sokola and Rep. Paul Baumbach—were responsible for securing significant funding for the bridge as well.

photo of Paul Baumbach
State Rep. Paul Baumbach

Both Sokola and Baumbach stressed that, whether a bicyclist or pedestrian, crossing the vehicular bridge that was built in the 1940s was not very safe.

Governor Carney couldn’t be there, but Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long was, and she spoke about the importance of creating better opportunities for people to engage in healthy lifestyles. She said that this bridge is a good example of infrastructure that advances such opportunities.

photo of speakers (seated) and Bethany Hall-Long speaking
Dignitaries listening to Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long

Several speakers alluded to the critical lower-stress connection that this bridge makes both for bicyclists and pedestrians between Newark’s two popular city trails—the Hall and Pomeroy, which were Charlie Emerson projects—and city, county, and state parkland north of the White Clay Creek.

photo of Stu Markham
Newark Mayor Stu Markham

Newark Mayor Stu Markham gave credit to his two immediate predecessors, Jerry Clifton and Polly Sierer, for seeing that this project moved along, even when in 2017 it looked like it was dead for lack of necessary funding.

photo of Joe Spadafino
City Parks & Recreation director Joe Spadafino

Current Parks & Rec director Joe Spadafino thanked all the partners involved in this project and gave special mention to BikeNewark for its advocacy efforts on this project. He went on to laud the great legacy that Charlie Emerson (and JIm Hall before him) had created in terms of development of city parkland and trails.

Then Charlie Emerson stepped up to the podium and shared about his many years of experience as the city’s Parks & Rec director and what an honor it was to have this bridge named after him.

Members of Emerson’s family who were present then joined the officials involved in the project to walk to the northern end of the bridge and cut the ribbon, officially dedicating it as the Charles R. Emerson Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge.

photo of ribbon-cutting
Ribbon-cutting to formally dedicate the Emerson Bridge

The City plans to create two paved trails—to the south through Olan Thomas Park and southwest through Kershaw Park—from the southern foot of the bridge, each creating the key connections to the Pomeroy Trail. BikeNewark will then work with the City to have wayfinding signs placed for its planned Northeast Bikeway—a segment of its Newark Bikeways low-stress network.

> See related Newark Post story

Delaware Avenue taking on new shape

What began as a dream at a BikeNewark (then Newark Bicycle Committee) meeting in 2014 is finally taking shape as part of DelDOT’s Delaware Avenue pave-and-rehab project. Coming on the heels of the massive Main Street renovation, this project includes a major amenity for bicyclists—a two-way separated bikeway (a.k.a. cycletrack)—on the north side of the road.

These photos, taken on July 27, 2022, show the progress along various sections of this major eastbound route through the heart of Newark.

photo of Del. Ave. WB
westbound between S. College Ave. and Orchard Rd., showing concrete protected-lane separator
photo of Del. Ave. EB
eastbound between Academy St. and Haines St., showing concrete protected-lane separator

This new cycletrack feature, which will be a first of its type in Delaware, will enable legal westbound bicycle traffic from the Pomeroy Trail to Orchard Road. Bike traffic on the western end of this project will be shuttled to/from Orchard Road and Amstel Ave. as a continuation to/from South Main Street.

East of the Pomeroy Trail all the way to Library Avenue, there will be one-way raised lanes on either side of Delaware Avenue.

photo of island at Pomeroy Trail WB
new island at Pomeroy Trail crossing westbound, marking change from two-way to one-way (WB)
photo of Del. Ave. curve WB
westbound at the curve toward Newark Transit Hub, showing raised bike lanes (in black)
photo of Del. Ave. curve EB
eastbound at the curve toward Newark High School, showing raised bike lanes (in black)

The other notable new feature will be the raised-profile intersection at South College Avenue. This feature will help pedestrians walk across at the sidewalk level, eliminating potential curb missteps and will also act as a traffic-calming aid.

photo of Del. Ave. raised intersection (south section) at S. College Ave.
raised intersection (south half) at South College Avenue, level with sidewalks

> see related Newark Post article