Sev­eral city events will cel­e­brate Na­tional Bi­cy­cle Month

Newark Post - - Local News - Polly Sierer

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.

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