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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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”
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!