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.
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.
“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.”
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 bikeleague.org/community.