Monday, August 11, 2014

Newark's LAB Report Card for 2014: Almost Silver

The League of American Bicyclists just released Newark's Bicycle-Friendly Communities (BFC) ranking . This program provides a roadmap to improve conditions for bicycling and the guidance to create a distinct vision for a better, bikeable community a reality. Building such a community can translate into a more connected, physically active, and environmentally sustainable citizenry that enjoys increased property values, business growth, increased tourism, and more transportation choices. Among the recommendations made to Newark:
  • Continue to work with DelDOT to expand the bike network and to increase network connectivity, especially through the use of trails, protected bike lanes and bicycle boulevards. On-street improvements coupled with the expansion of the off- road system will encourage more people to cycle and will improve safety. Ensure smooth transitions for bicyclists between the local and regional trail network, and the street network.Implement the Newark Bicycle Plan. To move Newark ahead, focus especially on the more ambitious projects in the plan, including a protected bike lane for Delaware Avenue in downtown Newark.
  • Ensure that all bicycle facilities conform to current best practices and guidelines.
  • Bicycle-safety education should be a routine part of secondary education, and schools and the surrounding neighborhoods should be particularly safe and convenient for biking and walking.
  • Offer bicycling skills training opportunities for adults more frequently and encourage the White Clay Bicycle Club and Newark Bike Project to help. There are options from short videos and 1-2 hour courses to more in-depth training incorporating in-classroom and on-bike instruction.
  • Ask police officers to target both motorist and cyclist infractions to ensure that laws are being followed by all road users. Ensure that bicycle/motor vehicle crashes are investigated thoroughly and that citations are given fairly.
It appears Newark was oh so close to achieving a "Silver" award designation. Among the City's weaknesses is an advocacy group who's main focus is bicycling in Newark. Nonetheless, according to the report card, it won't take much to tip the award to Silver!

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