Bike Month events: 2022

May is Bike Month graphic

May is National Bike Month, and that means there are a lot of events taking place in the Newark area, many of which BikeNewark is either organizing, participating in, or helping promote in some way.

Whatever you choose, you are encouraged to get out on your bike during this month-long observance and try some of the trails and signed routes right here in Newark and/or bike beyond to nearby state or county venues.

Here’s the rundown.

Tuesday, May 3
Bike Delaware’s “Everyone Gets Home” Summit
Legislative Mall, Dover, Del.
See the schedule and learn how to register (free) by clicking on “Register” at BikeDE.org.

Wednesday, May 4 (National Bike to School Day)
Bike to School Day – John R. Downes Elementary School
Casho Mill Road, Newark, Del.
For info, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2sd.

Friday, May 6 (CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN)
First Friday Ride
Hillside Park in Newark, Del.
5:45 p.m.

This 4.4-mile slow ride in and around Newark is meant to be a social ride that showcases some of the city’s most rideable streets and trails. See BikeNewark.org/firstfridayrides for more info, including ride route.

Wednesday, May 18
Ride of Silence – Wilmington
2700 Pennsylvania Avenue, University of Delaware, Wilmington, Del.
7:00 p.m.
For info and to register, see White Clay Bicycle Club group event.

Thursday, May 19
BikeNewark partnership business meeting (virtual)
4:00–5:00 p.m.
If You’re interested in attending, please contact BikeNewark@gmail.com by May 18.

Friday, May 20 (National Bike to Work Day)
Bike to Work Day Celebration in Newark
Mentors’ Circle, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
7:30–8:30 a.m.
For info on this free event, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2wd.

Saturday, May 21
White Clay Creek State Park Trail Etiquette Day
WCCSP Possum Hill parking lot (off Paper Mill Road), Newark, Del.
For info, please contact Laura.Lee@delaware.gov.

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

Support HB36, keep the “Delaware Yield”

excerpt from BikeNewark’s BFDA brochure that highlights safe yieldingBikeNewark 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.

“Delaware Yield” safety data from Delaware State Police

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.

City Council candidates weigh in

Upcoming Vote for City Council graphicAs a public service, BikeNewark issued a bicycle-related survey to the candidates for the upcoming Newark City Council election.

All candidates 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 Mayor and Council Districts 3 and 5 will be on Tuesday, July 28.

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)? 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 3:
Jay Bancroft
Anthony Sinibaldi

District 5:
Brian K. Anderson
Jason Lawhorn

District 6:
Travis McDermott (unopposed), did not respond