Friday, November 28, 2014

DelDOT: Include Bike Lanes with Elkton Road Pave & Rehab

Newark's Charter Schools marked A & B above.
Elkton Road is the only direct way into the City.
With Phase 2 of Elkton Road reconstruction (Casho Mill to the Maryland state line) at least 5 years away, Delaware Bikes has asked DelDOT's Traffic Section to include bike lanes as part of an interim repaving project likely to occur in 2015. Most important are bicycle pocket lanes through the intersections, most notably Otts Chapel Road and Christina Parkway.

Elkton Road is a very popular bicycle commuting route between Newark and points south and west. Teenage students are sometimes seen biking to and from Newark's Charter Schools. Many are seen biking and running for pleasure using the shoulders. It is a popular return route for many White Clay Bicycle Club sanctioned rides. For others still, it is the gateway west into rural Cecil County, Maryland.

Finally, it is not clear how many students housed at "The Retreat" will still commute by bicycle to campus and the downtown, despite virtually no consideration by the City or the developer. Bicycling infrastructure here should have been at the forefront, given no safe routes to circumvent the Elkton Road-Christina Parkway intersection. Learn how Newark dropped the ball by approving this project with little or no thought for those wishing to bike and leave the car home, or go car-free entirely. This is something that a sustainability-minded, eco-friendly city (and DOT) should rush to accommodate, especially when your downtown is a congestive nightmare.

A complete list of area pave & rehab projects scheduled in 2014 can be viewed HERE.

The typical scene along Elkton Road includes bicyclists, joggers, and pedestrians.

The view from the handlebars riding on Elkton Road north at the junction of Christina Parkway desperately calls out for bicycle pocket lanes, as found in the MUTCD.

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