Delaware Ave. cycletrack completed

On Thursday, November 10, DelDOT officially opened to bicycle traffic the completed two-way protected bikeway (a.k.a. cycletrack) on Delaware Avenue. On Friday, November 18, dignitaries came together for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

> See ribbon-cutting article in the Newark Post

diagram of DelDOT-sourced illustration
DelDOT diagram of the two-way protected bikeway infrastructure on Delaware Avenue
photo of paint treatment in conflict zone
Solid green surface treatment in conflict zones

This brought to a close a nearly $8 million project that was first thought about in the 1990s, included as a recommendation in the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan, and advocated for by BikeNewark’s predecessor entity in 2014.

Protective beveled concrete curbing separating bikeway from vehicle travel lane

The primary motivation for such a project was to provide a safe, legal way for bicyclists to move westbound through Newark’s downtown area. Previously, the only legal way for bicyclists to get from Library Avenue or Kirkwood Highway to South Main Street, West Main Street, or New London Road was to use Cleveland Avenue or East Main Street—both higher-stress options for cyclists, even with the recent improvements to those two major streets.

Bicycle-specific traffic signals in both directions along bikeway

Amenities for bicyclists along Delaware Avenue that were included in this project:

photo of bike signal meaning sign
Bike-signal sign explaining red, yellow, flashing yellow, and green signals
  • a two-way protected bikeway from Orchard Road to the Pomeroy Trail, separated from the traffic lane by a 3-inch-high beveled concrete barrier
  • one-way elevated bike paths on either side of the road from the Pomeroy Trail to Library Avenue
  • separate bicycle-specific traffic signals in both directions
  • green surface paint through intersections and at conflict points (e.g., driveways)
  • bike boxes at the eastern and western ends of the project (Delaware Avenue / Library Avenue intersection and the Amstel Avenue / South Main Street intersection)
photo of bike box on Del. Ave. at Library Ave.
Bike box at Library Avenue intersection

This completion of this project finishes the final segment of the Central Loop Bikeway, the hub of the Newark Bikeways low-stress bicycle network. Wayfinding signage for the Delaware Avenue portion of the Central Loop will be added in 2023.

> See related Newark Post article
> See project history article
> See DelDOT project safety flyer (PDF)

Thanks to these partner organizations—Bike Delaware, DelDOT, the City of Newark, and the Wilmington Area Planning Council—for their support and involvement in the conception and construction of this infrastructure, pretty much a unique feature in Delaware.

Bike to Work Day returns

After two years with no public celebration of Bike to Work Day in Newark, the event returned to the University of Delaware’s Mentors’ Circle on May 20, 2022. More than 50 participants enjoyed breakfast food and messages from local officials before continuing their bicycle commute to work.

title photo of group of attendees at Bike to Work Day 2022

BikeNewark partnered with the City of Newark, University of Delaware, DelDOT, and the Newark Bike Project to welcome bicycle commuters.

photo of County Executive Matt Meyer
County Executive Matt Meyer talks about progress made and big plans for the future.

BikeNewark’s Bob McBride acted as emcee for the proceedings, which included messages by local officials (City Manager Tom Coleman, Newark Mayor Stu Markham, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, state Sen. David Sokola, and state Rep. Paul Baumbach), the presentation of this year’s Community Leader Award, and a group photo.

Attendees enjoyed breakfast food, picked up free event T-shirts (courtesy of the Delaware Bicycle Council and DelDOT), and picked up information from event supporters (UD Employee Health & Wellbeing, DelDOT, Delaware Commute Solutions, and BikeNewark).

Bob McBride, BikeNewark chair, presents the 2022 Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award to former mayor Polly Sierer.

Former Newark mayor Polly Sierer received the 2022 Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award for her years of encouragement and support of bicycling in Newark. Her work as mayor and later contributions as a private citizen have led directly to the implementation of a signed Newark Bikeways low-stress network, five of a planned eight segments of which have been completed to date.

photo of Bob McBride, County Executive Matt Meyer, and Mayor Stu Markham
Bike Newark chair Bob McBride, County Executive Matt Meyer, and Newark Mayor Stu Markham present a message to encourage commuting by bicycle (click on photo).

After the closing group photo, McBride, Meyer, and Markham joined forces to present a social media message of encouragement.

Next year’s event will be held on Friday, May 19, and will be bigger and better than ever. BikeNewark is hoping that more local businesses and organizations will not only support this event but promote bicycle commuting to their employees as a more healthy, cost-saving, and planet-honoring, and fun method of getting to work.

photo of bicycles at Bike to Work Day event

Photos, courtesy of the University of Delaware, were taken by Kathy Atkinson.

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.

Help us celebrate National Bike Month

May is Bike Month.

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.

photo of family with bikes
Example: Family photo at the Newark History Museum, accessed by the James F. Hall Trail
Event Partners: The Newark Partnership, City of Newark, DelDOT, UD, WILMAPCO, Newark Bike Project, Bloom Energy

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”

“Bike the Trails” route map

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!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 2: “Bike for Ice Cream”

Bike for Ice Cream route map

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!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 3: “Bike the Neighborhoods”

“Bike the Neighborhoods route map

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!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 4: “Bike to Public Art”

“Bike to Public Art route map

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!

> GIS map with descriptions | text directions

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