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.
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 on Twitter with #BikeNewark, or email it to 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*.
As a public service, BikeNewark issued a bicycle-related survey to the candidates who were to compete for the Newark City Council District 2 position as well as to one who is unopposed and will be sworn in as a new City Councilwoman for District 4.
The aforementioned individuals were given the opportunity to weigh in on seven specific items related to their policy positions, knowledge, and experience. The survey items and links to candidates’ responses (if received) follow.
The election for Council District 2 has been cancelled due to the withdrawal of one of the two candidates.
In countless published lists of the best places to live, a common characteristic is a vibrant walking and biking culture. Why do you think that is?
Do you consider Newark a walkable, bikeable community? Why or why not? If yes, how do you plan to sustain this? If not, what can be done to make our city more walkable and bikeable?
What do you see as the opportunities for bicycling to make a positive impact in Newark? What do you see as the problems associated with bicycling in Newark?
What are your ideas (if any) for how to improve the bicycling experience in Newark for occasional cyclists, bicycle commuters, recreational cyclists, and avid (very experienced) cyclists? (Please be as specific as you can for each group mentioned.)
If elected, what criteria will you apply in order to decide whether to support a major road project (like improvements to South College Avenue and Wyoming Road)? What about for small road projects (e.g., addition of bike lanes, low-stress bike-route signage, or crosswalks)?
Are you familiar with the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan? If so, what do you think are its most important recommendations?
Briefly describe your experience as a bicyclist (if any) over your lifetime and specifically in Newark.
District 1: James Horning (unopposed incumbent*)
District 2: Sharon Hughes, did not respond Brenden Moore, withdrew
Planning is now underway for implementation of the wayfinding signage for the next three segments of the Newark Bikeways low-stress network. BikeNewark is working with the City of Newark to complete this second phase of its network wayfinding project. Routes along existing low-stress roads and pathways will soon be signed and connect to the Central Loop Bikeway—the network hub, the signs for which were installed in 2019.
Funding for signage for the project’s second phase, which includes the North, Northwest, and West Bikeways, was secured with proceeds from the 2019 Community Fun Ride event, as well as a recent grant from the Delaware Greenways’ Future Trails of Northern Delaware Coalition (FTNDC).
In fact, BikeNewark received from the FTNDC an unexpected 66% more in funding than it had requested. Why? Executive Director Mary Roth of Delaware Greenways (one of BikeNewark’s partner organizations) explains:
“BikeNewark made a request of $1,508.87 with matching funds drawn from BikeNewark’s prior events and donors,” Roth said in a recent email to BikeNewark chair Bob McBride. “Our committee felt strongly that we should fund the project with the maximum grant possible of $2,500, giving [BikeNewark] more of an opportunity to continue the work of this and future phases.”
BikeNewark will begin an effort to garner funding for the final, albeit most-prolonged, phase of the project, which will include the Southwest, Northeast, South, and East Bikeways (see Bikeways map).
BikeNewark’s Engineering Committee will begin planning wayfinding for the Southwest Bikeway segment over the next few months, in anticipation of the completion this year of DelDOT’s Elkton Road off-road bike/ped pathway, part of its major overhaul of Elkton Road from Gravenor Lane to the Maryland state line.
Unsolicited Project Kudos
Thank you for all of your work over the years to improve the bike trails and signage to make Newark such a bike-friendly place. From my house, I bike to the underpass by Amstel Avenue then take Orchard to Phillips Park to access the Hall Trail. As someone who is just getting comfortable riding on roads, the Newark [Bikeways] signage helped me find the access point from Ritter Lane. I now feel safe making a big loop from the Hall Trail to the Pomeroy Trail to Creek Road. I’m a very cautious biker, so these low-stress routes have enabled me to really enjoy biking safely in Newark. Thank you!
BikeNewark asks that you contact your Delaware state legislators and urge them to support HB36, the bill that, if passed, would permanently add the “Delaware Yield” to the state’s Code.
The Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act (BFDA) that was signed into law by Governor Carney in 2017 was sponsored by multiple state agencies, including the Delaware State Police, DelDOT, Delaware Greenways, and many others. Part of this act includes the “Delaware Yield,” which makes it lawful for bicyclists to safely yield at stop sign–controlled intersections. However, there was a ”sunset clause” within the BFDA, meaning that the aforementioned feature can be removed from the law.
Similar versions of the law have passed in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, with resolutions pending in other states and municipalities. One study from DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development showed that “yielding to managing the intersection by cyclists is often safer than having them stop at the intersection” and “it makes laws more realistic for bikers that they can more realistically follow.”
Delaware has seen its own benefits, as data (below) from the Delaware State Police below compares bicycle crashes before and after the law was enacted in 2017.
In December 2020, BikeNewark elected officers for its four board positions for the current two-year term.
Bob McBride was re-elected as Chair for another two-year term. McBride 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, and he is currently serving on committee in The Newark Partnership. He is an avid recreational bicyclist and bird-watcher.
Karen Rosenberg is now serving as Vice-Chair, succeeding Helga Huntley. In past years, she has been volunteering at annual Bike to Work Day events and maintains BikeNewark’s online calendar. Rosenberg has also been a regular attendee of First Friday Rides. She is on the Department of Anthropology faculty at the University of Delaware and bikes to work whenever possible.
Karl Hassler was re-elected for a second 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. He’d remind you that if you can’t support BikeNewark with your time, you can donate to help enhance our efforts. Hassler is also a member of the White Clay Bicycle Club and a recent retiree from the University of Delaware.
Christine Schultz, one of BikeNewark’s newest Individual Members, is succeeding Dave Saunders as Secretary. She has been involved in recent years in the organization of Newark’s Bike to Work Day events and may be better recognized as BikeNewark’s smartly dressed “Bike to Work, Newark!” brochure “poster girl” (along with brochure counterpart Matt Kinservik). Schultz is a University of Delaware employee who also bikes to work whenever possible.
McBride, Rosenberg, Hassler, and Schultz will each be serving during 2021-2022, 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 Helga Huntley and Dave Saunders 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. They are currently being held via Zoom due to the pandemic. Want to help? Get involved!