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

Delaware Greenways announces FHWA grant for Bayshore Byway

Delaware Bayshore Byway sign

Delaware Greenways logoCongratulations to Delaware Greenways for its successful application, which resulted in the award of a National Scenic Byways Program grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in the amount of $913,420 for the Delaware Bayshore Byway. Delaware Greenways and DelDOT are two of BikeNewark’s seven partner organizations.

A group of Delaware Greenways volunteers worked diligently with DelDOT to write the application that won the grant.

Delaware Greenways asserted that “[t]his project will improve, increase, and broaden the use of non-motorized travel and recreation options along the Delaware Bayshore Byway, a National Scenic Byway. The… combined Master Plan [will include] a Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan… that will augment the existing Corridor Management Plan.”

> Delaware Greenways article

Editor’s Note:

BikeNewark truly believes that partnerships are critical to “moving the needle” for bicycle-centric improvements here in Delaware. This is precisely why we describe BikeNewark as “a partnership of interested cyclists and organizations working to improve bicycling in Newark, Delaware.”

If you’d like to help out with our advocacy efforts by volunteering your time and talent, joining as a member, or making a donation, or if you simply want to opt onto one of our mailing lists, see

Connecting Newark and Newport

The New Castle County government has begun a study project to assess the feasibility of a bike/ped pathway system that would connect the City of Newark to the Town of Newport. The intended result of this study is a master plan to implement such a pathway system.

On its eastern terminus, this system would eventually connect to the Jack Markell Trail, which connects the Wilmington’s Riverfront to the City of New Castle. If and when complete, this would enable low-stress connectivity among Delaware’s three largest cities above the C&D Canal.

BikeNewark is interested in seeing that such a planned pathway connection would link directly to (i.e., terminate at) the City’s Newark Bikeways low-stress network.

BikeNewark encourages the public, particularly those who live, work, or regularly visit Newark to participate in the County’s effort to receive public comment during this phase of the project. 

The current project timeline is as follows:

May 2023
Review agency coordination begins

July 2023
Public open house #2
Draft feasibility report and cost estimates

August 2023
Final feasibility report and cost estimates 

> For more, see Newark Post article
> See New Castle County project webpage

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.