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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Newark’s New Contraflow Bike Lane

photo of contraflow laneThe City of Newark has a new feature on East Main Street for bicyclists—a pocket contraflow bike lane. Unique in Delaware, this trial project was a result of a partnership among BikeNewark, the City of Newark, the University of Delaware (UD), and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT).

DelDOT completed the work of striping and signing this contraflow lane in July, and, now that UD students are back on campus, the lane will get its first big test. BikeNewark created an educational video and a one-page flyer to help show how this contraflow bike lane can be used safely and legally.

BikeNewark will be evaluating the success of this trial project, which will run through the 2017-18 academic year.

Download the flyer (PDF).

 

Let Your Voice Be Heard

We often feel we don’t get to directly affect decisions that are made in our society. On Monday, March 6, though, there is an important opportunity to do just that with regard to improving conditions for bicycling.

public meeting notice from the City of NewarkThis public meeting will take place on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at the Newark Senior Center, off Marrows Road. This meeting will be the final chance for the bicycling community to vocally support the recommendations made by the Cleveland Avenue Improvements Task Force before City Council deliberates, votes, and forwards its wishes to DelDOT ahead of DelDOT’s pave and rehab work along the length of this busy east-west corridor.

In addition to the task force recommendations, DelDOT’s suggestion of implementing a “Florida-T” configuration at the intersection of Cleveland Ave. and Kirkwood Highway will also be discussed.

BikeNewark is in favor of this use of the Florida-T and each of the recommended improvements along Cleveland Avenue.


logo for Blueprint for a Bicycle-Friendly DelawareIn addition to the aforementioned meeting, initial meetings were held recently regarding bicycling in Delaware.

Four statewide public-input sessions have already occurred in advance of the initial drafting of a statewide bicycle policy document—the Delaware Bicycle Plan.

> More info on the Blueprint for a Bicycle-Friendly Delaware

Cleveland Ave. Task Force concludes

photo of Cleveland Avenue as it looks in 2016On Wednesday, October 5, the Cleveland Avenue Improvement Task Force concluded its eight-month effort to consider curb-to-curb upgrades of Cleveland Avenue that could be integrated into DelDOT’s upcoming pave-and-rehab project. The committee voted on the following improvements based on the results of modeling work and analyses conducted by DelDOT. These will now be considered by the Newark Traffic Committee and, if approved, will then move on to the Newark City Council for final approval.

  • Eastbound and westbound bike lanes from New London Road to Kirkwood Highway
  • A “road diet” between Paper Mill and Kirkwood Highway (reducing two travel lanes each direction to one travel lane each direction plus a middle left-turn lane)
  • Crosswalk improvements at the Wilbur Street intersection
  • Addition of a crosswalk near the McKees Lane intersection
  • Changing the travel direction on Margaret Street to one-way, northbound

> See a more detailed presentation of the proposed changes.

All task force meetings were open to the public and neighboring property owners were invited to participate in the work of the committee. The committee represented a number of stakeholders in the community.

The Newark Bicycle Committee thanks the Task Force voting members for their work:

Fred Nelson
Newark Police Department and Task Force Chair

Tom Coleman
Newark Department of Public Works & Water Resources

Maureen Feeney-Roser
Newark Department of Planning & Development

Dave Gula
WILMAPCO

Chris Locke
The Mill at White Clay

Susan Grasso
Newark Bicycle Committee

Mark Luszcz
Delaware Department of Transportation

Tom Parkins
Resident

Skip Homiak
University of Delaware

Eve Slapp
Matt Slapp Subaru

Amy Roe
NAACP

Meghan George
Newark Housing Authority

Christine Herman
Herman’s Quality Meat Shoppe

Kaylee Olnee
Resident