Developing a proposal for a Newark low-stress bicycle network
BikeNewark’s Engineering committee began discussion in summer 2016 about designing a low-stress bicycle network for Newark.
Consistent with the Newark Bicycle Plan, the Engineering committee continues to explore and plan for a low-stress network, which would include bicycle boulevards and wayfinding amenities, and will work with the City of Newark to help usher in these infrastructure improvements.
League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community program
BikeNewark has been instrumental in helping the City of Newark apply for “Bicycle Friendly Community” status from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). In 2010, the City of Newark became the first city in Delaware to be so recognized by LAB, at a “bronze” level.
In its reapplication in 2014, Newark came whisker close to receiving “silver” status but was recognized again for “bronze.” The rapid pace of bicycle improvement–related activity since then gives the committee a great deal of confidence that, with its 2018 reapplication, LAB will recognize Newark as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community.
Everyday biking-support programs
Part of its Education and Encouragement committee work, BikeNewark engages in events with its local and state partners to help community members (residents, students, commuters, and visitors) understand local laws and encourage bicycling as a means of transportation. From its “Bike Central” quick tune-up and bike-registration opportunities (primarily benefitting University of Delaware students) to bicycle-training classes to bike-commuting educational material to support for monthly First Friday Rides and the annual Mayor’s Fun Ride, the committee is making an impact for city improvements through bicycling.
Safe Routes to School
DelDOT will attend the John R. Downes Elementary School open houses on Sept. 18 (grades K-2) and Sept. 19 (grades 3-5), give a 5-minute overview talk, and provide visuals and opportunities to give feedback at tables in the foyer. DelDOT will also present something at City Hall for community members who aren’t affiliated with Downes. Megan McGurigan will figure out when would be a good time for DelDOT to present; she recommended a separate meeting, instead of piggy-backing onto a Council meeting.
The SRTS Committee will also present the three options on the table to the city’s Traffic Committee, making clear that this is informational only and not up for a vote by the Traffic Committee, although we do welcome feedback, of course.
DelDOT will put up a project website that will contain contact information for providing comments.
Downes already has a lot of educational efforts in place, such as punch cards for kids arriving on foot or by bike, “Trek” (walking during recess); a Healthy Heart Night with information about road safety, fire safety, etc.; and Walk-to-School Day with an organized walk with the school’s mascot.
Two new ideas were thought to be promising:
- An art contest around the theme of road safety, with the winners’ pictures being printed as posters or stickers for folder
- A Golden Sneaker Award, given quarterly to the classroom with the most trips to school without a car or bus, as counted by Sandy Hudson’s punch cards.
UD’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders would create the physical award, to be passed around each quarter.