Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Goodbye "Share The Road" (clarification)

In a recent post on Bike Delaware's website, we find the following:

In August, Bike Delaware asked DelDOT to permanently discontinue its use of the “Share The Road” plaque in Delaware. The article on our ask, which can be read HERE, was viewed on the web more than 15,000 times, “liked” more than 1,800 times and generated many thoughtful comments. (Bike Delaware shared all these comments with DelDOT.)

We feel that this post leads readers to believe that Bike Delaware initiated, facilitated, and achieved the removal of the "Share The Road" plaque. These are commonly found under the standard bicycle sign, and are now being phased out. While Bike Delaware did offer support in the form of a letter and reader comments, it was hardly their initiative. Both Mark Luszcz, DelDOT's Chief Traffic Engineer (then assistant) and Anthony Aglio, DelDOT's Bicycle Coordinator, had been pushing this idea for years - well before Bike Delaware became involved. Suffice it to say, Bike Delaware participated as one spoke in the wheel, joining with multiple other organizations (including Delaware Bikes) who were solicited by DelDOT for comments and letters of support.

Among the corrective comments found under their blog post:

"This wasn’t initiated, worked on, and achieved by Bike Delaware. The idea was started in DelDOT years ago and only recently did DelDOT’s Chief Engineer decide to move on it. Multiple stakeholders - including Bike Delaware - were asked to comment and write letters and they did. Instead of taking all the credit and making it appear as a Bike Delaware project, apply it equally among all of those involved." -FW, Newark

"This is a great thing for cyclists - I’m glad it’s happening! But to get the record straight - the first people to initiate this idea in Delaware were DelDOT engineers. More than one of them has been pushing for this change for years, going around to the advocacy groups, requesting input and support. Other biking advocates also wrote letters. I look forward to biking on roads with the new signs, but I will be grateful to the many people who made the effort to get them there." -BB, N. Wilmington

This was not a singular victory as their post appears to suggest. Successes like this demonstrate the importance of cooperation and communication among advocacy organizations, citizens, and local government, who help make decisions that affect those who bicycle on Delaware's roads. We encourage Bike Delaware to appreciate the efforts of all parties involved. Only when we work together, and appreciate each others' contributions, will successes like this continue. We ask Bike Delaware to consider and acknowledge the cooperative actions by other stakeholders when covering the many efforts that are ongoing in the journey to make our State's roads safer for all cyclists.

Read Delaware Bikes' opinion on the subject, posted back in August. It includes some different reasoning for why the plaque must go, along with a suggestion to visit Bike Delaware's website to submit comments.

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