On October 19, DelDOT officially awarded a $7.66 million contract for its Delaware Avenue rehab project, which will include 1) a two-way protected bike-lane configuration (a.k.a. cycletrack) on the north side of the road from Orchard Road to the Pomeroy Trail, 2) one-way separated bike lanes on both sides of the road from the Pomeroy Trail to Library Avenue, and 3) separate signals for bicyclists.
It has been more than seven years since BikeNewark’s previous incarnation (the Newark Bicycle Committee), with encouragement from Bike Delaware’s James Wilson, had agreed during a monthly meeting to press for a cycletrack on Delaware Avenue (see artist’s conception of a potential amenity below).
(Read the Sept. 2014 Bike Delaware article, written by BikeNewark’s Mark Deshon.)
In 2015, then–UD graduate student Kirsten Jones, who was a member of the then–Newark Bicycle Committee, created an informative ride-along video to illustrate the many reasons why a robust solution to increase safety for bicyclists along Delaware Avenue is needed.
A few of those reasons include…
…vehicles obstructing the current bike lane in preparation of making a right turn onto South College Avenue.
…dangers posed by contraflow (i.e., illegal westbound) cyclists in the eastbound-only bike lane.
…cars parking in the bike lane in front of Newark High School, forcing cyclists to merge into vehicular traffic.
Of course, the DelDOT project is not expected to be completed before 2023, but the awarding of such a large contract is a sign that progress is indeed on the way!