Accomplishments in 2017

BikeNewark has been incredibly active this past year. It all began with redefining ourselves and becoming an official Delaware nonprofit corporation. Take a look at some of what we’ve done in 2017:

  • photo of BikeNewark chair Mark Deshon with grant check from White Clay Bicycle ClubThanks in large part to the efforts of our ad hoc organizational committee and a generous grant from the White Clay Bicycle Club, the partnership formerly known as the Newark Bicycle Committee became BikeNewark—a Delaware nonprofit corporation dedicated to local bicycle advocacy. BikeNewark.org was launched, as were our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Participated on engineering-related committee with regard to the Delaware Avenue two-way protected bikeway project (a.k.a. “cycletrack”), scheduled for completion by summer 2019.
  • Advocated for green-backed sharrows to be added on both lanes of Main Street between the Pomeroy Trail and the Deer Park as part of the Main Street pave and rehab project, scheduled for completion sometime in 2019.
  • Supported recommendations of the Cleveland Avenue improvements Task Force before City Council, which it unanimously voted to approve on Aug. 14; scheduled for completion by 2021. A parking restriction and pedestrian scramble have already been implemented.
  • photo of BikeNewark members installing bike lights on a student's bike at nightIn conjunction with DelDOT, WILMAPCO, Newark Bike Project, and UD, we held several bike safety–related events primarily aimed at students (“Bike Central” and “Bike Lights on Demand”), during which bike lights were installed, bikes registered, and safety information distributed.
  • ON ROADS? obey signs and signalsSuccessfully executed a bicycle “civility” campaign with message posters designed by UD design students and co-organized UD Bike Days with the UD Student Government Association in cooperation with the City of Newark.
  • Helped organize the third annual Mayor’s Fun Ride and Newark’s annual Bike to Work Day event, both held in May each year.
  • Helped organize Bike to School Week at John R. Downes Elementary School, including a pop-up buffered bike lane demonstration, bike trains on the initial day, and a user-experience survey. Also involved in discussions related to the school’s Safe Routes to School grant.
  • Worked with DelDOT and the City of Newark to initiate a trial contraflow lane and related infrastructure on Main Street between North College Avenue and South College Avenue. Produced an educational video (see below) and related educational flyer showing how to properly use this new amenity. Performed post-installation data gathering.
  • With help from a new citizens’ group and the City of Newark, co-organized the implementation of a two-week pop-up mini-circle demonstration at the intersection of Orchard Road and Winslow Road to help show the positive effects of slowing while not stopping traffic at this and similar intersections.
  • diagram on satellite photo showing proposed trail connectorSupported two of the City’s Department of Parks & Recreation projects at City Council—2018 completion of the “Pomeroy Connector” trail between Creek Road and Fairfield Crest and the longer-range bike-ped Charlie Emerson Bridge to be built over White Clay Creek.
  • Organized monthly First Friday Rides in downtown Newark to combine the encouragement of bicycling downtown (especially on Main Street) with a social agenda. Co-organized a Newark Historical Buildings Bike Tour with the Newark Bike Project.
  • card art: 4 safety tips for bicyclists in NewarkPartnered with UD Police Department to design safety cards for bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • On behalf of the City of Newark, began working on Bicycle Friendly Community application to the League of American Bicyclists. The goal is for Newark to become the first city in the state to achieve “Silver” status.

We look ahead to 2018 and working toward achieving our stated goals as well as continuing with many of the above-noted activities. Want to help support BikeNewark? Get involved or support our efforts monetarily.

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BikeNewark hosts its initial Community Night

graphic for 2017 BikeNewark Community NightOn Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 7–9 p.m., BikeNewark will be hosting its initial Community Night. This will be an open house–type gathering held at the Newark Bike Project, 136 South Main Street, in Newark.

Come out and learn more about BikeNewark—the work we’ve been doing and the work ahead of us—and how you can become involved in “moving bicycling forward in Newark, Delaware.” Come and go as you please, meet and talk with members and partner liaisons, grab a bite to eat, sign up to volunteer, give us your suggestions, and maybe support our advocacy efforts monetarily.

Can’t make it in person but would like to show your support for BikeNewark? If you’re interested in helping by making a tax-deductible donation to help improve bicycling in Newark, Del., you can either use Pay Pal (click button below) or mail a check (payable to “BikeNewark”) to:

BikeNewark
75 West Mill Station Drive
Newark, DE 19711

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Bike to Work Day 2017

Bike to Work Day 2017 group photo

Bike to Work Day 2017 sponsor logosNewark’s celebration of National Bike to Work Day, by all estimates, was a big success, drawing nearly 120 riders to Mentors’ Circle on the University of Delaware campus for the early morning event.

The warm, sunny weather definitely helped increase the participation in this event from previous years, as did the great support in terms of sponsorship from the business community, which furnished the food and prizes for the random giveaways.

Several of the featured speakers rode in, each with one of several area “bike trains.” The largest and most impressive bike train was that of Bloom Energy. As University of Delaware Provost Domenico Grasso was beginning to officially welcome everyone, a group of 30+ riders from Bloom arrived, making their corporate presence known with team T-shirts.

The morning featured wonderfully encouraging bicycle-centric messages from New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, state Sen. Dave Sokola, state Rep. Paul Baumbach, state Rep. Ed Osienski, and retiring Newark City Manager Carol Houck.

photo of Markell family with Mike Fortner and Mark Deshon
Event coordinator Mike Fortner (left) and BikeNewark chair Mark Deshon (right) presented the 2017 Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award to former Gov. Jack Markell. Markell’s mother, Leni, and children, Michael (with award) and Molly, accepted the award on his behalf.

The City of Newark and BikeNewark presented the annual Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award to former Gov. Jack Markell. Markell was in Italy on a bicycle trip, so his mother and children were there to accept the award on his behalf. Son Michael spoke glowingly about the influence his dad has had on him in terms of bicycling and giving back to the community.

A large group photo was organized, and then event coordinator Mike Fortner, one of BikeNewark’s liaisons from the City of Newark, made the morning especially happy for many who had stayed for the random giveaways as a formal conclusion to the morning’s festivities.

2018’s Bike to Work Day event in Newark will take place on Friday, May 18. BikeNewark looks forward to seeing you there.

First Friday Ride in June!

Are you looking for a great way to spend this sunny first Friday in June? Well, look no further, because you have found the First Friday Ride organized by BikeNewark!

Join BikeNewark and Newark Bike Project (NBP) for a special First Friday Ride and after-party at NBP! First Friday Rides are free, slow rolls around downtown Newark, open to all ages and abilities. We’re gathering at the Newark Shopping Center on East Main Street at 5:15 p.m. and plan to cruise around downtown Newark, before meeting up at NBP at around 6:30 p.m. 18519442_1748825865151435_2264949953290685591_n

Our NBP party will feature:

  • Sushi and pizza, with vegetarian/vegan options
  • Soft drinks and BYOB (purchase in same building available)
  • Children’s scavenger hunt
  • Live music

First Friday Ride is free. After-party suggested donation is $10 for adults, with kids 12 and younger free.

Park for free courtesy of Newark Shopping Center. Helmets are strongly encouraged. A friendly reminder that riders agree to ride at their own risk. Cycling, as with any type of transportation or sport, has some risk. These are informal community rides, and the information provided here is as a public service to those interested in participating in First Friday Rides. It does not reflect any responsibility for the care or safety of those participating. Ride organizers and helpers are not responsible if you or your dependents get lost or hurt while riding your bike. You ride at your own risk and assume all responsibility for yourself, your children if attending, and your equipment.

Check out the route below!

route.jpg

 

National Bike Month Local Events

League of American Bicyclists National Bike Month logoMay is National Bike Month. BikeNewark is involved in several events to help celebrate Bike Month locally. Take a look at the following events and see how you can participate and show your support for bicycling in Newark.

May 1–5
UD Bike Days events occur all week, as a partnership with UD’s Student Government Association.

May 3
The second spring Bike Central on The Green will be held from 1:00–3:00 p.m.

May 5
This month’s First Friday Ride will be a critical mass event in conjunction with UD Bike Days. Gather on The Green at Delaware Avenue at 5:15 p.m.

May 8
City Council reads resolution proclaiming National Bike Month in Newark during its event meeting.

May 8–12
Bike to School Week at John R. Downes School will encourage bicycle participation and emphasize bicycle safety throughout the week.

May 19
Newark celebrates National Bike to Work Day at Mentors’ Circle on the UD campus from 7:30–9:00 a.m.

Event Sponsors

BikeNewark thanks Bike Month event sponsors:

  • Bagelmania
  • Barnes & Noble UD Bookstore
  • Bike Line
  • DelDOT
  • Fusion Fitness
  • Lieberman’s
  • Main Street Movies
  • Newark Deli and Bagels
  • Saxby’s
  • The Ski Bum
  • UD College of Health Sciences – STAR Health
  • WILMAPCO
  • Wooden Wheels

In addition to the above local events, check out the following:

May 4
The annual Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit will take place all day in Dover.

May 10
The annual Delaware Legislators Ride—a 58-mile ride from Pike Creek Valley that will end on the Legislative Mall in Dover—will be led by Newark’s own Sen. Dave Sokola beginning at 7 a.m.

May 17
The annual memorial Ride of Silence will take place in Wilmington at 7:00 p.m., hosted by the White Clay Bicycle Club and Bike Wilmington.

May 19
Wilmington will hold its Bike to Work Day festivities downtown at H.B. du Pont plaza from 8:00-9:30 a.m.

May 19–21
Bike Month will again see the three-day event known as the Wilmington Grand Prix, which features the Monkey Hill Time Trial, Criterium Races & Festival, and the Governor’s Ride and Gran Fondo.