Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why “Share The Road” is gone in Delaware (not)

Why “Share The Road” Is Gone in Delaware ~Bike Delaware
Delaware ditches “Share the Road” signs ~Cyclelicious
Bike Delaware calls for an end to ‘share the road’ signs ~California Bicycle Coalition
Delaware Drops “Share the Road”

The above are just some of the articles floating around the internet, when in fact, "Share the Road" is still appearing in Delaware. As we have learned all too often, a DOT's commitment to change - even in writing - doesn't guarantee it's going to happen. And that's why the enforcement of current policies and guidelines should be a major component of any bicycle advocacy organization.

A brand new CVS on the corner of Route 4 and Marrows Road will have its Grand Opening on May 18th, 2014.

A brand new bicycle warning sign, with "Share the Road", appears out front of the CVS.

In addition to the sign, the new CVS pictured above had the following New Castle County building code requirement waived:

Where necessary, the developer shall provide acceleration/deceleration lanes along major roads, as determined by DelDOT, as well as right- and left-turn lanes and bypass lanes, depending on local conditions and the amount of traffic generated by the proposed development. Where such lanes are required, they shall be at the expense of the developer.  Acceleration, deceleration, bypass, and right-turn lanes shall include space for bicycle lanes, as required by DelDOT.

There are no issues whatsoever when it comes to adding ADA compliant crosswalks and curb ramps with all new developments. In fact, the sidepath facility on Rt.4 (above) is part of the East Coast Greenway, an off-road trail intended for the use of bicycles and pedestrians. Where sidepaths like this exist, however, it provides the perfect excuse for DOTs to exclude on-road bicycle facilities. And that's likely what happened here, just as it did at the Delaware School for the Deaf further east.

The waiving of NCC coded bike lanes
is now common. Pork Chop guidelines are falling through the cracks. We are losing opportunities for bicycle facility improvements with Pave & Rehab projects. And it doesn't stop with on-road infrastructure; the application of laws that help protect bicyclists and pedestrians also require constant vigilance. Had it not been for select members of the Delaware Bicycle Council, our law enforcement and court system would remain clueless about laws like Vulnerable Users and 3 Foot Passing.

Bike Delaware has been virtually absent in these areas, as they choose to focus almost exclusively on Trails & Pathways.

Related:  Share the Road Plaque Removal in Delaware: Fact Check

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