Several city events will celebrate National Bicycle Month
May is National Bicycle Month!
I am pleased to share with you several opportunities in our fair City regarding celebrating National Bicycle Month.
April 30 – Mayor’s Fun Ride at 10 a.m. at the Newark Shopping Center
May 10 – Downes Elementary School will kick of its Biking Tuesday program. Bicycle education materials will be distributed to all Downes families on how to bike safely to school. I will present the National Bike to School Proclamation and be on hand to greet students.
May 12, 11 a.m. — 3 p.m. – Newark Bike Basics at Mentor’s Circle – includes cycling laws, safety concepts and checkpoint, safety skills course
May 20 – Bike to Work Day at Mentor’s Circle — morning program -collaboration between University of Delaware and the City of Newark
Downes Elementary School is working with the Newark Bicycle Committee, WILMAPCO, DelDOT and the City of Newark to advance its Safe Routes to School Program. Two initiatives are underway.
The first is to apply for a Safe Routes to School bicycle infrastructure grant. Safe Routes to School programs make it safe, convenient and fun for children to bicycle or walk to school. Elementary and middle schools can receive funding through Delaware Safe Routes to School Program. Downes participated in this program in 2005 and was one of the first participants in Delaware.
Some pedestrian improvements have been completed. Recently, Downes facilitated an online parent survey audit with a variety of stakeholders to explore potential infrastructure changes that would improve the safety of those who wish to bike or walk to school, with an emphasis on bicycle travel. The grant application is due at the end of May and makes available up to $125,000 of funding during each year of a three-year project.
The draft infrastructure improvements plan includes a variety of elements, the most significant being the construction of buffered bike lanes (wide paint strip) or protected bike lanes (use of physical elements, like plastic bollards, to separate bikes from car lanes) along Casho Mill Road from Barksdale Road to Nottingham Road. Other noteworthy proposed changes include the relocation of a crosswalk, the addition of an ADA ramp and the addition of curb extensions in selected locations along this oversized corridor.
This effort is made possi- ble by the volunteer parents and staff at Downes Elementary, as well as volunteer members of our community.
Think about this: What did your first bike mean to you? What did walking mean to you as a child?
Please remember, during this lovely spring weather, to take a walk or ride a bicycle, daily, on our many paths and in our parks throughout our city. There are so many opportunities for you and your family to do so.
Polly Sierer has been mayor of Newark since 2013. Contact her at pasierer@comcast. net.