City Council candidate weighs in

Upcoming Vote for City Council graphicAs 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.

Survey Items

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.)
  5. 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)?
  6. Are you familiar with the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan? If so, what do you think are its most important recommendations?
  7. Briefly describe your experience as a bicyclist (if any) over your lifetime and specifically in Newark.

Candidates’ Responses

District 1:
James Horning (unopposed incumbent*)

District 2:
Sharon Hughes, did not respond
Brenden Moore, withdrew

District 4:
Dwendolyn “Wendy” Creecy (unopposed)

*was not surveyed this year

Signs for 3 new Bikeways

Coming soon to Newark!

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.

graphic of North, Northwest, and West Bikeways signsFunding 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:

graphic of Newark Bikeways map“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.”

photo of “Central Loop” sign
sign example (NB on Orchard Rd. at Winslow Rd.)

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!

—a female Newark resident in her 30s

Officers elected for 2021-22

In December 2020, BikeNewark elected officers for its four board positions for the current two-year term.

photo of Bob McBride
Bob McBride, Chair

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.

photo of Karen Rosenberg
Karen Rosenberg, Vice-Chair

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.

photo of Karl Hassler
Karl Hassler, Treasurer

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.

photo of Christine Schultz
Christine Schultz, Secretary

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!

Accomplishments in 2020

Though activity was definitely slowed in 2020 and several events were cancelled because of the pandemic, BikeNewark did manage to accomplish the following:

  • Was awarded $1,000 in funding from the White Clay Bicycle Club in the winter to be applied to the Newark Bikeways project.
  • Executed and posted results of a City Council candidates survey as public service in advance of the April municipal election.
  • RideShare Delaware "Biking 101" title slide graphicPresented two online seminars on bicycle commuting—“Biking 101” and “Commuting Safely by Bike with Children”—as part of co-host RideShare Delaware’s Delaware Commute Solutions Series.
  • Completed wayfinding signage design work for “phase 2” of the Newark Bikeways low-stress bicycle network project and ordered signage, in coordination with the City of Newark, for the North, Northwest, and West bikeway segments. Submitted a 50-50 matching-grant application to Delaware Greenways’ Future Trails of Northern Delaware coalition, which, if awarded, would defray half of the cost to BikeNewark of the “phase 2” signs. Plans for the East Bikeway segment were pushed to “phase 3.”
  • Partnered with the City of Newark on a grant request to the Delaware Bicycle Council for a bicycle-improvements project along Wyoming Road. A $15,000 grant was awarded to the City in Decemberfor a feasibility and preliminary design study of this corridor.
  • Designing Delaware Intersections for People event graphicHelped support promotion of the online Designing Delaware Intersections for People conference (held in November), which was organized by Bike Delaware, one of BikeNewark’s partners, and highlighted two intersections in Newark.
  • Began partnering with the Wilmington Trail Club and the City of Newark to plan for appropriate improvements to the Rittenhouse Trail, from Rittenhouse Park to Church Road.
  • Supported the A.I. Whoo COVID Vision Trail Safety Analysis that began in the fall.
  • What is a Sharrow? title frame showing sharrow symbolCompleted design and production of a three-minute safety PSA video on sharrows, which focused on the new greenbacked sharrows on East and West Main Street in Newark, partnering with WILMAPCO and the City of Newark and using raw video contribution from Caffé Gelato.
  • Participated with presence on The Newark Partnership and the city’s Transportation Improvement District (TID) committee.
  • Successfully revamped BikeNewark’s bylaws to more accurately reflect current operations and redefined official membership in the partnership—“Individual Member”—based on a fee paid per calendar year.

Newark bicyclists: take the PeopleForBikes quick survey

You could win this bike. Take our 5-minute survey to be entered to win great prizes, including this bike.

What is bike riding like in your town? We want to know!

Take the PlacesForBikes 2020 Community Survey today and you’ll be entered to win great prizes like this Felt BROAM 60 and others from BikeFlights, Burley, Sena, Terrano Systems, Trek and PeopleForBikes.

Everyone can participate regardless of where, how, if or why they ride.

For those who have already completed the survey – thank you! Your feedback will help determine your city or town’s score in the 2021 PlacesForBikes City Ratings.

We’d love for you to pass the survey link along to your friends and family so we can hear more about perceptions of bike riding in your town.

Together we can make bicycling better!

—The PeopleForBikes team