Monday, May 5, 2014

Delaware ranked 4th most bicycle-friendly State

Cross-posted from Delaware Way

Dover – Kicking off National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. In the seventh annual assessment, Delaware ranked No. 4 nationally, while placing No. 1 in the East and receiving 55.7 points out of 100.

Delaware ranked No. 5 in the League’s 2013 ranking, but ranked No. 31 as recently as 2008. The only states that rank above Delaware in 2014 are Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

“Making Delaware a more bike-friendly state is a central piece of our efforts to ensure Delaware continues to be an attractive place to live, raise a family, and retire,” said Markell. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the seriousness with which leaders across our state, from the administration to the General Assembly to community advocates, have taken our work to extend the reach of existing trails and pathways, while constructing new trails where the opportunities are greatest.”

The Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking is based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.  [Full article . . .]

The Top 10 Bicycle-Friendly States according to LAB

Poster's note: We have made some progress, but clearly, we have a long way to go. Among the issues most commonly cited by our followers:
  • DelDOT bicycle and pedestrian policies and guidelines (i.e. Complete Streets) are weak, and opportunities missed.
  • The requirement for a bike lane with new construction in NCC is commonly waived.
  • Guidelines that require shoulders be maintained through intersections – not blocking them with channelizing islands – are increasingly missed.
  • Bike parking that is installed by NCC code is most often a wheelbending grid rack, that provides no frame support or locking capability.
  • Rumble strips are now being carved through Delaware's shoulders, well offset from the white line, leaving little or no safe space to ride between them and common debris.
  • It takes huge sums of funding over several years to perform studies and collect data to approve a simple white line safety modification.
  • We rarely do well signed or signalized crosswalks to increase pathway safety, as seen in other states with fewer fatalities and injuries.
  • Laws designed to protect vulnerable road users have little chance of enforcement, unless advocates track individual cases and follow up accordingly.
  • The State's leading bicycle advocacy organization claims to represent all bicyclist's needs, but does little to promote on-road safety through infrastructure, education, and enforcement.

"... A good example is the “new improved” intersection in Seaford that is now under construction. It is like an example of what NOT to do. Pork chops, disappearing bike lanes, turn traffic crossing bike lanes, sidewalks that connect to nothing on either end. The list goes on. This is heavily used intersection since we have allowed a major shopping area to build with no connections to population except VIA auto. There is large contingent of people, within walking distance, that could benefit from a good, non-auto way to get there. More than once I have had the pleasure to watch wheelchairs negotiate this intersection. That takes real guts."  ~ Timothy Parks

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