Friday, May 30, 2014

DelDOT's Bike Rodeo "Train the Trainer" Webinar

Date: Monday, June 2, 2014.  Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Click HERE to learn all about Bicycle Rodeos. Click HERE to access webinar registration.

Webinar ID: 145-510-387. Call-in Number: (702) 489-0003. Access Code: 546-018-416

Also see: Connor's Commute to Elementary School

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hawk Mountain Weekend, Revisited

The White Clay Bicycle Club's Hawk Mountain Weekend was a 3 day unsupported bicycle tour that took place over Memorial Day Weekend. Day 1 (Saturday) was 96 miles from Newark, DE over moderately hilly terrain to Lickdale, PA. The group enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner at Pizza Town in Jonestown, before the overnight at Days Inn.

Day 2 (Sunday) had 3 route options en-route to Hamburg PA. Most chose Mount Gretna for lunch at La Sorelle Porch and Pantry, followed by an opportunity to visit Roadside America in Shartlesville. This route did not climb over Hawk Mountain, which may explain its popularity. The second option did climb Hawk Mountain (an 800' climb in 2 miles), and the third option included Hawk Mountain but also the feared climb of Gold Mine Road. All routes concluded at the Microtel, where the group went on to enjoy lots of beer and great food at Pappy T's Pub & Lounge.

On Day 3 (Monday), most returned via Berks and Lancaster Counties to Gap or Chadds Ford PA, and then home from there. Those of us riding home to Newark recorded over 100 hilly miles, which was excellent training for the upcoming Tour of Vermont and New Hampshire in June, which will also feature a long and exhausting 100+ miles on the final day.

This was an amazing group, with participants coming from all over the Tri-State Area, and one from Arlington VA. Depending on where one lived, the final mileage varied. For me, the ride from Hamburg back to Newark ended with 103 miles.

A big tip of the helmet to Mary Clare Matsumoto, for stepping up and filling the role as Tour Leader in Wally Hertler's absence. Mary Clare did a superb job at keeping everyone together when possible, and made key decisions on group consensus. Thanks so much, Mary Clare!

Additional photos can be viewed on Shutterfly HERE. Be sure to use the slideshow option.

LAB: 40% of all bicyclist fatalities are hit from behind

By Lloyd Alter -- Over on VOX, Joseph Stromberg rolls out another post on cycling, based on a new report from the League of American Bicyclists. They tracked a year of cycling fatalities and looked at the locations, the types of accidents and the penalties for the drivers that caused the accidents. And yes, for all the complaints about cyclists being irresponsible louts who cause accidents by going through stop signs and red lights, the numbers show otherwise.

A shocking 40% of the deaths are "hit from behind" incidents, where drivers just go right over a cyclist. This is disproportionately large in relation to the number of cycling accidents.

Of 238 fatal crashes where drivers were blamed, 42% were careless or inattentive, 36% were hit and run, and 12% were drunk or drugged.

The most deaths happen on urban arterial roads, those multi-lane higher speed roads that probably have lots of room for bike lanes. Because that's the way you reduce the rear-ender accidents, by giving cyclists their own separated lane.  [Full article ..]

Recommended: How to properly install and use a bicycle helmet mirror

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cape Gazette: Cyclists say new rumble strips unsafe

This rumble strip has destroyed the shoulder and bicycle
safety in the process. It should never have been installed.
(photo by Ron MacArthur)
Cape Gazette -- Some cyclists are about ready to rumble over new safety strips installed on Cape Region roads, saying the strips have made the roadways unsafe. Meanwhile state transportation officials are scrambling to find a way to remedy the problem.

Since March, more than 70 miles of rumble strips have been placed along Sussex County roadways, including strips on Route 24 and Route 9 and along the Route 1 corridor.

Mike Tyler, a bicycling advocate from Lewes, said strips in some sections of routes 9 and 24 make the bike lanes so narrow they are not safe to ride. “We hate them,” Tyler said. “They ought to be removed and put closer to the white line.”

This week, Delaware Department of Transportation officials admitted the contractor improperly installed strips along some sections of the two roads, resulting in shoulders and bike lanes less than 4 feet wide, the acceptable safe minimum width on state highways.

Correctly designed rumble strips hug the white
line, and maximize shoulder space for bicyclists.
Mark Luszcz, DelDOT's chief traffic engineer, called the problem a glitch in the contract. Luszcz said two possible remedies are under consideration: to patch or pave over a total of about 1 mile of rumble strips along the two roads. One of those sections is the eastbound lane of Route 9 in front of Lewes Landing, where the shoulder is less than 3 feet wide.

Luszcz said beginning in early June, contractor Safety Improvements LLC of Kennedyville, Md., will test a new patching product along a 200-foot section of road. “If that doesn't work, we will do the more expensive process of milling out and paving over the rumble strips,” Luszcz said. “We will fix them as soon as possible.”

When completed, the $1.3 million project will cover 310 miles; so far, rumble strips have been installed along 140 miles of roadway.

Tyler said cyclists were caught off guard by new rumble strips over the past few weeks. “I was dismayed that they even put them down,” he said. “I can't believe any forethought was given or review done about what is appropriate.”  [Full article ...]

Read prior posts on this issue, including a call to action.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cabot Community Tour Family Ride on June 17

The 2014 Cabot Community Tour is a five-week “Celebration of Communities and Good,” highlighting the extraordinary connections among cooperatives, volunteers, and the service organizations supporting these communities. The Tour honors three of their 1,200 farm-family owners’ most cherished principles: Cooperatives, Community and Volunteerism.

Joining forces again for the near-1,000 mile journey will be Cathy and Myron Skott, who pedaled every mile of the 2012 Tour. In a repeat peformance, the Skotts will bring their passion and energy to this exciting adventure. Joining them as they ride their way north will be cycling groups from the communities and organizations that make up the heart and soul of the Tour.

On Tuesday June 17th at 9:00 a.m., the East Coast Greenway Alliance is organizing a family-friendly ride from the Blue Ball Barn to Bellevue State Park that will join with the Skotts, then return to the start on their own. The entire ride takes place along the Northern Delaware Greenway, so no one gets lost. Come join up and wish them well!

View Larger Map

Monday, May 19, 2014

Newark Bike to Work Day Photos and Recap

By Angela Connolly -- One of  Bike Month's most significant events is Bike To Work day, celebrated in communities all over the country. Newark's event was held today, May 19. Postponed from its original date due to heavy rain, the beautiful cool day encouraged many bicycle commuters to gather on the patio of of the University of Delaware's Trabant Center. For those who wanted to ride to the event in a group, six captain-led “bike trains" were offered  from strategic locations around Newark, all leading to the festivities. Bicyclists were treated to light breakfast food, drink, and raffle prizes, provided by the Event's generous sponsors.

Newark Bike Committee Member Heather Dunigan announced that Newark has kept its Bronze level award as an LAB designated Bicycle-Friendly Community. She also revealed that Newark "was very close to a Silver designation" based on our accomplishments during the past four years. Highlights include completion of the Pomeroy Trail and sharrow bicycle markings on Main Street by the City, and South Main Street bicycle lanes by DelDOT. Although the Bronze designation is effective until 2018, Newark can re-apply earlier for consideration to Silver status if more improvements are made sooner.

Mayor Polly Sierer addressed the crowd, saying "There are some great people and organizations pushing to make Newark a world-class bicycle-friendly community in an increasingly competitive environment. The City's adoption of the 2014 Newark Bicycle Plan this past February maps the future of bicycling in Newark and is key to making bicycling better for a competitive, livable community."

There are many people working together to make the City a more bikeable one. Newark City Manager Carol Houck said, "An amazing network of organizations and grass root efforts working together on a common goal has set Newark apart from other communities and allowed us to advance to a bicycle friendly city with great opportunities for bicyclists of all kinds."

Other speakers included Newark Development Supervisor and Bicycle Committee Member Michael Fortner, Newark Bicycle Committee Chair Mark Deshon, and Newark Bike Project Board member Thijs Lankriet.

Bike To Work Day attendees sign up for the prize drawing

Newark Mayor Polly Sierer, Newark Bike Committee Member Heather Dunigan, and Newark Development Supervisor and Bicycle Committee Member Michael Fortner

The traditional group photo of the event's attendees, including the author's dog "Midnight", who arrived by bike trailer

The Newark Bike Project and Delaware Bikes had information about their efforts on behalf of bicyclists
Read the official Press Release. Read about it in the Newark Post. View additional photos of the event on Shutterfly.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

ACTION ALERT: Tell DelDOT to Save Our Shoulders

Rumble strip in a Sussex County bike lane. Photo by Mike Tyler
By Amy Wilburn -- Recent Rumble Strip applications have reduced valuable shoulder space along roads throughout Delaware. The presence of usable shoulders is often all that stands between allowing our citizens to bike for transportation and recreation and forcing them to either leave their bikes at home or rack the bikes up and drive to a trail for a short, recreational ride. It is entirely unacceptable for the nation’s fourth most bike friendly state to discourage active transportation and encourage added motor vehicle congestion on our roadways.

Inappropriately placed rumble strips have already been installed on several roads throughout the state, including Route 72, Route 24 and Route 9. The positioning of the rumble strips on these roads is in violation of DelDOT’s guidelines. It is also not in agreement with best practice, including federal guidelines. Furthermore, placement is not even consistent. The rumble strips are being cut anywhere from directly on the white line (Route 1 south of Dartmouth Road in Lewes) to several feet to the right of the white line. On Route 72, cyclists are forced to either ride in debris or in the travel lane. On Route 24, narrow sections of shoulder that were still viable for biking have now been almost or completely obliterated by the rumble strips, forcing cyclists into the travel lane. Just east of Banks Road the shoulder is completely occupied by the rumble strip in a high crash area. On Route 9 in Sussex County, rumble strips have been installed inside the bike lane. All three of these routes are important roads for bicyclists. 

In a promising development, Mark Luszcz is leading a DelDOT team that will review and update the current policy on rumble strips. In addition, Mark informs us that no additional rumble strips are planned at the current time. However, that something this egregious could happen in the first place does not bode well. We need to ensure that the damage is corrected immediately, that the policy is updated and that it considers cyclists’ needs, that policy is consistently applied and that oversight is provided to ensure quality control at the various stages of a project, and that DelDOT begins to consistently consider the needs of bicyclists in all projects except on limited access highways where bicycling is prohibited. We should not have to constantly do damage control or fight for every single facility. 

Above: Other states, including South Carolina (among the least bicycle-
friendly states) puts their rumble strips at the white line, a safer choice
for all road users.
Installing rumble strips in a bike lane is not some trivial mistake. It is instead a monumental error that demonstrates that our needs are not taken into account, barely on the radar. It is disappointing that DelDOT does not consistently consult the cycling community or even the state bicycle coordinator before making decisions that seriously impact bicyclists, and that might even result in a life or death situation. Some DelDOT employees are certainly stellar and should not be faulted, and some projects are certainly appropriate, even excellent. But we need to ensure that all DelDOT departments and employees take our health and well-being seriously. We are, after all, members of the travelling public.

So what can you do? Attend the Delaware Bicycle Council meeting on Wednesday June 4 at 5 PM in the DelDOT Administration Building in Dover (map/directions). Mark Luszcz will be at that meeting to discuss the rumble strips. If a dozen members of the cycling public attend this meeting, our voices may very well be heard. You can also contact DelDOT by other means to express your concerns. Report poorly positioned rumble strips (or any other problems) under “Report a Road Condition”, or contact Anthony Aglio ( and Mark Luszcz ( to express your concerns about the recent developments. Anthony and Mark are working to address this problem, but it can’t wait. Let them know that you support efforts to solve the problem now, before any more bike lanes and shoulders are made unbikeable. Insist that the bike lanes and shoulders that have already been ruined by the rumble strips are repaired. This is one of the most critical problems we face as cyclists. If we want our needs addressed, we need to speak up and not rely on others to represent us or on DelDOT to figure out what it is that we need and want. Please take action now.

Recent posts on this issue:
New rumble strips pose major safety threat for Delaware bicyclists
Bad timing for Rumble Strips on Route 72

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Take a "bike train" to Newark's Bike To Work Day event

Bike To Work Day 2011: A Newark Police Officer eats a doughnut, as bicycle commuters from all over the Newark area enjoy great food, drinks, and the camaraderie of fellow bicyclists.

Bicycle commuters are encouraged to ride with others to the event and take advantage of one of six captain-led “bike trains,” which will depart from the following locations promptly at 7:20 a.m.:
  • Fairfield Shopping Center
  • Reservoir parking lot
  • Wyoming Road at James F. Hall Trailhead (Delaware Technology Park)
  • University of Delaware Field House
  • Chrysler Avenue just off the Elkton Road intersection
  • John R. Downes Elementary School on Casho Mill Road

For further details about the bike trains, email Mark Deshon at: Otherwise, for full information, visit our previous post on Newark Bike To Work Day HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2014

New crosswalk and bike lane at key Ogletown intersection

A big tip of the helmet to Senator Karen Peterson for pushing this project through. The Red Mill Road/Route 273 (Ogletown Road) crossroads is a favorite of area bicyclists and pedestrians connecting between Harmony Woods, Prides Crossing and Chestnut Hill Estates. It is also key in the planning of an on-road Newark to Wilmington Bikeway, which advocates hope will become a reality someday.

What a difference a year makes. Below are pictures of the same intersection, before improvements were made. We thank Senator Karen and DelDOT for taking a pro-active approach to safety, by acting now before a non-motorized user was injured or killed. There are plenty of States that a change of this magnitude could only happen after multiple fatalities.

Related: We Love Senator Karen Peterson - Here's Why

Petition: Save the Historic Chandler Mill Bridge for biking and walking

Create a nature preserve, leave a legacy in nearby Chester County.  Sign the petition.

The Kennett Township Supervisors have a few short years together as an administration. This is their chance to create a legacy for generations to come by rehabilititing the closed historic Chandler Mill Bridge into a pedestrian/biking only bridge as part of  a nature preserve and historic district for all to enjoy in perpetuity. Converting the Chandler Mill Bridge to a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge will enable the creation of the Chandler Mill Nature Preserve, a 50-acre public access preserve with an interpretive nature center. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save a historic bridge from demolition while creating an amazing community resource, enhancing our township, and protecting our quality of life for generations to come.

The one-lane Chandler Mill Bridge, circa 1910, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since its closing to vehicular traffic in 2011, the bridge has been used extensively by dog walkers, hikers and bikers. The bridge is located at the terminus of 300 acres of conserved private lands within the emerging Red Clay Greenway public access trail. Over $11 million in today’s dollars have already been contributed to the trails and conserved lands over the past 30 years. Let's celebrate and enhance this investment.

Full article and petition details HERE.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

From National Public Radio -- As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

"I'm one of those year-round warriors, unless the weather is really bad," says Louise Graham, one among a steady stream of backpack-wearing bicyclists getting on the path.

Graham works in sales downtown and travels about 20 miles round trip. The same is true for David Michaels, who works at a digital marketing firm and rides four to five days a week. If he rode a train to work, he says, he'd be buried in his phone.

"If I'm riding, I'm active," Michaels says. "I'm riding down the lakeshore path, which is gorgeous and it's a ton of fun."

It's also a lot cheaper than driving, many bikers say.

Brian McKenzie, a sociologist with the U.S. Census Bureau, says most people still depend on their cars to get to work. But the bureau's first ever survey of people biking or walking to work, does show some change.

"We see that biking [to work] has actually increased over the last decade by about 60 percent," McKenzie says. "Just over three-quarters of a million people bike to work."  [Full story . . . ]

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Bike to Work Day in Newark RESCHEDULED

MONDAY, MAY 19, 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Trabant University Center Patio

In partnership with the city of Newark and the University of Delaware, the Newark Bicycle Committee is organizing this year’s Bike to Work Day event.

The event is intended to highlight National Bike Week (May 12-16) in the Newark community, which is currently a League of American Bicyclists–designated bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community.”

Local businesses will be sponsoring the event by providing light breakfast food for participants to enjoy before completing their commutes to work. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will be providing a limited number of free event T-shirts while they last. Come join us!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Did DelDOT forget to turn on the vacuum?

Several of our followers recently notified DelDOT of the atrocious debris conditions on Route 72. Within a week, a sweeper was dispatched to clear the shoulders of loose debris, most of which was left over from the carving of rumble strips. However, on the southbound side, it would appear that instead of aspirating the debris, most of it was swished around into rifts and pools, and the brushes themselves didn't even cover the rightmost quarter or third of the shoulder.

A thick ridge of gravel still lines the middle of the shoulder, after the sweep operation was completed.

Sandy Schreiver, a new commuter this year with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in Glasgow, still manages to put on a smiling face despite the hazardous conditions.

The northbound direction was much cleaner, and safer to ride further to the right to avoid the dangerously positioned rumble strips. I know little about how a sweep truck operates, but perhaps the vacuum function was malfunctioning or not turned on? To find out how a street sweeper works (or is supposed to work), visit Ezine Articles HERE.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why crosswalks are so dangerous in Delaware

According to the New Castle County Police, the failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk is a fine of $25 to $75 for a first offense, and $57.50 to $95 for second offense. However, Delaware's on-line code (and the internet) reveals a fine of only $2 to $25 under Chapter 292:

(i) (1) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

Every person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of the provisions of Sections 113 (a), (b), (g), (h), (i) (1), (j) and 128 (h) of this Chapter shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not less than Two Dollars ($2.00), nor more than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) and/or imprisonment for not less than two days, nor more than ten days and for every subsequent like offense within one year, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Ten Dollars ($10.00), nor more than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) and/or by imprisonment for not less than two days, nor more than thirty days. Approved April 24, 1945.

The officer we spoke to referred only to Title 21 as pertaining to current vehicle law, however, a search of "crosswalk yield fine" and a variety of other word combinations - including the amounts of the fine - failed to produce updated penalties.

Here are some interesting points regarding crosswalks in Delaware:
  • DelDOT rarely stripes crosswalks unless it's at a signalized intersection.
  • Because the fine is so low, no one takes it seriously - even the police.
  • While other states and cities are performing sting operations and ticketing offenders on both sides, our police virtually never enforce this law.
  • We never publicize laws pertaining to motorists when it comes to pedestrians.
  • Nearly all of the focus is on pedestrian error.
  • Although we've made some recent progress, we don't really take pedestrians' needs seriously or consider walking to be a serious form of transportation.
In a random check of 3 other states in the top 10 Bicycle-Friendly States ranking, with similar language in their code regarding crosswalks, the following was revealed:

Massachusetts: Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.

Oregon: The offense described in this section, failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian, is a Class B traffic violation.

Minnesota: Failure to obey the [crosswalk] law is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $700 fine, or both.

If Delaware wants to get serious about reducing pedestrian fatalities, then our respect and treatment of crosswalks should at least mirror that of other Top 10 BFS States that do care. DelDOT is already eliminating mid-block crosswalks because motorists don't obey the law, as opposed to better marking the crosswalks and actually enforcing the laws. And then the media has the gall to blame dead pedestrians for not crossing in crosswalks when there aren't any for half a mile or or more from the crash site. Yet there is plenty of sympathy for angry motorists who have to go a couple of minutes out of their way.

View Larger Map
Above: The crossing of the Industrial Track Rail Trail at Boulden Blvd in New Castle. It is not clear for what this signal is intended. Pushing the crosswalk button actuates yellow flashing lights. Pedestrian warning signs are all that appear before the crosswalk and overhead. There is nothing here at all to enforce the stopping (or yielding) of motorists to pedestrians when there very easily could be. Therefore, most do not stop. A HAWK signal, or simple button actuated traffic light - and a sign with a stated fine - would do wonders to increase safety at this intersection.

The crossing of Wyoming Road on the Pomeroy Trail in Newark is lame, at best. The white yield sign, off to the side (and dead with sign fatigue) barely registers. Very few, if any cars yield or stop for pedestrians or bicyclists waiting to cross. This cyclist was waiting at the start of the crosswalk when the driver in the white car continued through at full speed.

Cape Cod, MA is serious about pedestrian safety, and their choice of signage proves it. Not only are their signs multi-colored and strategically placed, but they also state the penalty for drivers who fail to yield in a crosswalk. As a result, virtually every driver stops - even before trail users step foot on the roadway.

Awarding Delaware a top 5
in the Bicycle-Friendly States program should not be based on funding for Trails and Pathways. Yet in this manner, Bike Delaware and the LAB have readily tossed out most other critical aspects of bicycle advocacy, and go on proudly boasting about our 4th place ranking. This is shameful. It is time for us to get serious about safety and infrastructure for all non-motorized users of our roads and pathways in general.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why noted Advocates will not renew their LAB memberships for 2014

By Frank Warnock and Angela Connolly

It's no secret that leading Delaware advocates disagree on what is best for those who bicycle on Delaware's roads. This ongoing debate has caused distress for Delaware's Advocacy leaders for the past two years. We reached out to various organizations for help, most notably to Jeff Miller, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Biking and Walking. After much discussion, a MOU between Bike Delaware and the Delaware Bicycle Council was discussed. We were referred to Alex Doty of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, but after one phone call, there was no further communication. As a final act of desperation, and with a plea for understanding and help, Angela Connolly wrote the following to Andy Clark, President of the League of American Bicyclists. On behalf of 1st State Bikes, she attempted to appeal to Mr. Clark for the support of the type of bicycle advocacy that is necessary in the built environment, which includes many arterial roads, that many cyclists in Delaware must deal with on a daily basis.

Angela Connolly wrote:
"As a dedicated Bicycle Advocate, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have recently joined the organization 1st State Bikes, whose primary mission is to concentrate on the concerns of our State's road cyclists. Frank Warnock, a known and respected  Bicycling Advocate in Delaware, has, along with other noted bicycling Advocates, identified a lack of appropriate effort to advocate for the rights of bicyclists who primarily cycle on our main roads for transportation purposes. Frank believes that there are many things that Delaware can do, to work within our existing car-centric culture, to improve conditions for the cyclists that are using our roads now. It is his opinion that Delaware is in dire need of an advocacy organization that addresses the safety concerns of all cyclists, providing a more balanced approach to bicycle advocacy, but especially serving those whose only means of transportation is the bicycle. As he has done in the past, Frank is committed to working with, and co-operating fully with, other noted organizations such as the Delaware Bicycle Council, the Delaware Department of Transportation, the White Clay Bicycle Club, and the Newark Bike Project, with whom he is an active Volunteer, serving as a Lead Mechanic. Frank recognizes that cooperation and shared ideas and thoughts among organizations such as those mentioned are paramount in improving conditions for all cyclists".

Andy Clark wrote:
"We are going to respectfully decline your request for assistance. In our experience in several other states -- PA, VA, OH, CA to name a few -- the bicycle movement does not benefit from having two (or more) statewide organizations purporting to speak for cyclists. Being brought into internal squabbles and turf battles between rival entities and personalities puts us in an untenable and inappropriate position and makes it impossible to effectively support state and local advocacy efforts in the way that we would like and you all deserve. We think it's really unfortunate that you've chosen to create [1st State Bikes], especially at this moment in time. Delaware is poised to become a real success story and model for other states in the nation and the next two to three years are critical -- I would encourage you to direct your passion and enthusiasm for cycling to more constructive activities and try not to let personality differences distract you all from the real work at hand. In our view, there is no need for a new "voice" that's honestly barely discernible in name and content from the existing voice. Surely the work that you want to see done -- taking advantage of the pavement rehab opportunities, for example - can be done under the auspices of Bike Delaware without the waste of time and talent that trying to maintain a competing organization will inevitably cause".

We were very disappointed in the response that we received. We were especially distressed at his use of the term "internal squabbles and turf battles", which suggests that we did not appropriately try to resolve the issues that we faced. Unfortunately, Mr Clark is grossly out of touch with road bicycling advocacy in Delaware. He is unaware that Bike Delaware has no interest in the pursuit of on-road bicycle facility improvements. Bike Delaware's primary focus is on segregated bike paths, as clearly evidenced by the posts on their web page, and if anything, discouraging bicyclists from riding on most roads. Clearly, if this was not the case, they would actively engage in the following issues (among others):
Texting is rampant in Delaware, because
laws are toothless and go unenforced.
  • DelDOT bicycle and pedestrian policies and guidelines (i.e. Complete Streets) are weak, and opportunities missed with pavement & rehabilitation opportunities.
  • The requirement for a bike lane with new construction in New Castle County 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.
  • DelDOT rarely does 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.
  • Despite Delaware's wide shoulders, most bicyclists (and potential bicyclists) are still afraid to ride because motorists have virtually free reign to text and talk using hand held cell phones, without fear of penalty.
And so, in good conscience, and because of the refusal of LAB to acknowledge and address our concerns, our leading advocates are not able to continue to support an organization that refuses to at least hear both sides of the story. We have decided not to renew our memberships in the LAB, and we will no longer affiliate with, or support that organization. We have sadly realized that we must continue to promote safety issues for those that cycle Delaware's roads on our own, and without the support of the very organization whose sacred duty it is to protect the safety of ALL cyclists, whether they ride on our State's arterial roads or trails.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Will buying likes of fake people cause any harm?

Cross-posted from Jon Loomer

Last week, I received the following question from a reader about buying Facebook Likes:

What about buying likes outright? We’re thinking about buying 500 or so likes through a service like “buyilikes.” We would do it because we want to portray ourselves as an established company providing high end services, and ~40 likes shoots us in the foot. Will buying likes of fake people cause any harm?

It’s a question I get often. The short answer: No way. Don’t do it. Don’t buy Likes. Anything that doesn’t bring in an authentic “fan” won’t help you.

Today, let’s cover…
  • Why Brands Buy Facebook Likes;
  • Why You Shouldn’t Buy Facebook Likes; and
  • Alternatives to Buying Facebook Likes
By the end of this post, I hope to not only convince you that it’s a terrible idea to buy Facebook Likes, but to help educate you on productive, easy and cost effective ways of increasing your Likes while maintaining your dignity.  [Full article ...]

Poster's note: Delaware Bikes' popularity on Facebook is 100% the result of folks who genuinely find us - whether at tabling events or on-line - and choose to like us.

Delaware Bikes had a very productive tabling experience at the 2014 Delaware Bike/Walk Summit, where we unveiled the "Newark to Wilmington Bikeway" proposal.

Wilmington Bicycle Facility Improvements Move Forward

Area bicyclists are encouraged at every opportunity to talk up Wilmington’s planned bike routes that will be funded by a Transportation Enhancements (TE) grant. The plan has been criticized by Bike Delaware, and slow to gain traction with City government. However, Wilmapco Council voted on May 8th to give these improvements the highest priority in the TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan).

The use of sharrows and signage isn’t perfect, but the City can get miles of visible routes on a very small budget, and that is an excellent start. It is important to note that this project was developed and supported by the community itself.

We are asking our readers to talk it up in active circles. Post comments here on Delaware Bikes and any other organizations that are willing to listen. Post comments whenever you see a good opportunity on Bike Delaware's website and Facebook page. Wilmington is far behind many other cities of similar size when it comes to infrastructure and the implementation of bicycle safety improvements, and we need to get this moving.

A bicyclist enjoys a freshly applied Sharrow on Market Street in Wilmington (photo courtesy of David Blankenship)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wilmington Bike to Work Day & Grand Prix, May 16-18

Visit the event website and pre-register today!

For the seventh straight year, Delaware’s premier cycling competition has been certified as a National Calendar event by USA Cycling, putting this year’s Wilmington Grand Prix among the nation’s most prestigious races, the Delaware Sports Commission announced today.

Top professional racers are expected to gather in Wilmington May 16-18 for three days of events that pass through some of the state’s most scenic byways, attracting cycling fans from across the region and pumping thousands of dollars into the state’s economy, according to David Arthur, executive director of the Delaware Sports Commission, which has the mission of bringing national sporting events like the Wilmington Grand Prix to Delaware. [Visit the event website ...]

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Billie Fleming: Happy 100th birthday

From Cycling Weekly -- Billie Fleming is no ordinary lady. In 1938, then named Billie Dovey, she rode a staggering 29,603.7 miles across the United Kingdom on a mission to promote the health benefits of cycling.

She rode every single day of the year in a wide variety of weather conditions to spread the message. Her mammoth tour included many evening engagements that required her to give a talk at the end of a long day’s pedalling. Fleming’s ride attracted a huge amount of interest and press attention as the year progressed. Her huge mileage set a women’s record, and garnered her attention internationally, too.  [Full story ...]

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Come help NBP move to 136 S. Main Street

Jamie Magee surveys the goodies as NBP moved from Shop 1.0 to 2.0

By Sindhu Siva, Outreach Coordinator, Newark Bike Project

The NBP is very excited to announce that we are moving again! This time to a more permanent location on the up and coming South Main Street.

So it is time once again, that we are asking for help. Come one come all to pack and move the shop! NBP is looking for people to prepare boxes full of parts and tools, to help organize bikes, and to think of creative ways of storing it all in shop 4.0. If you or your friends are interested to help, we would love to have you. Join us for fellowship and bonding in preparing for the new NBP home.

Dates and Activities:
  • Thursday, May 8th, 5 - 9pm: Clean Up the Shop (Old Shop)
  • Saturday, May 17, 10 - 4: Fixin' & Scrapping Bikes
  • Friday, May 23, 5 - 9pm: Prep for the Move (Old Shop)
  • Saturday, May 31, 10 - 4pm: MOVE
We will provide refreshments and some snacks - come enjoy our final month in shop 3.0 while we prepare for a fantastic new space at 136 South Main Street!

If you have questions, please contact Niki at - and by all means - please share this message with all family and friends!

Thanks everyone for your awesome support and generosity, we could not do this without you.

Shared Right Turn-Only Lane Update

DelDOT is behind schedule on this long awaited project

According to DelDOT Traffic, the shared right turn-only lane experimental markings were installed last November. They are now waiting for warmer temps and more bicyclists before deploying cameras in May and June 2014 to collect "after" data.

For a complete description of this project, and what it means for bicycle safety, check out "Bike lanes at intersections with right turn-only lanes" from Nov. 2010. A crude schematic of this facility, a share of the existing right turn when lane width does not permit a standard bike lane, is pictured right.

It will be up to Earl Rusty Lee, a known critic of bicyclists, to give a timeline on how long it will take to crunch the data and develop meaningful suggestions for either 1) solid recommendations, or 2) additional test sites to gather more data.

Unfortunately, it is not likely we will see this safety improvement included with 2014 pave & rehab (road resurfacing) projects. If approved, it will be available in DelDOT's toolbox, but still up to advocates to push for regular implementation.

For a complete history of this project, going back to 2010, visit our Shared RTOL Archive.

Several examples of shared right turn-only lanes already exist in Delaware. This example on Airport Road in New Castle would be complete by simply adding a bike lane symbol or sharrow at the onset of the dashed edge line.

Old Baltimore Pike has had shared right turn-only lanes for over 10 years, yet crash rates are commensurate with other roads of equal or greater VMT (vehicle throughput).