Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Osienski: Just go for a bike ride, everything will be fine

By Angela Connolly

"Whether it's up north on the Mike Castle Trail along the C&D Canal, or down south on the Lewes-Georgetown, Junction & Breakwater, and Gordon’s Pound trails, Delaware has plenty of great options for cyclists. So on this Bicycle Day, it's a great excuse to jump on a bike and take a ride. My wife Betsy and I spent much of this weekend on our bikes at the beach. We both enjoy the many trails Delaware has to offer."  ~Rep Ed Osienski, D24


As the construction at the former Our Lady of Grace Orphanage Property is wrapping up, the townhomes are reaching almost to the Rt 4 frontage. This is a tragic sight that I see daily - whether from my car, on foot, or on my bicycle. It is a tragic reminder of a dream lost, an opportunity forever lost. It is a story of corruption, of indifference, of disregard for the quality of life for the people who live along the Rt 4 Corridor, and the communities nearby. It is a painful reminder of the lost lives of precious animal inhabitants - Eastern Box turtles, deer, fox, among many other reptile and mammal life, lost with the violence of the bulldozers. But most of all, it is reminder of the failures of the local Legislators: Senator Bryan Townsend, Councilwoman Lisa Diller, and Rep Osienski, who, along with County Executive Matt Meyer, condemned their Constituents to a poor quality of life.

We in the Ogletown/South Newark area do not have access to nearby healthy, safe outdoor activity. We are relegated to using pathways that are unsafe and not maintained, falling into chronic disrepair. It is unacceptable to expect our residents to have to travel by car to reach a County Park which is well outside our region.


Above: Tragedy of epic proportions: Corrupt Legislators Rep Ed Osienski and Sen Bryan Townsend sell out the last remaining open space and regional park opportunity in the entire Ogletown-S. Newark region.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Zero enforcement: Delaware rounds out top 5 in Noise

Cross-posted from Bryan-Townsend.com

Time and time again
, Delaware fails miserably when it comes to leadership and quality of life. Here is yet another measure reaching the top 5: Noise. This study only crunched some numbers, and cited statistics, but it failed to include other factors such as law enforcement (level of, lack thereof). It didn't include the colossal failure by the State and its various Police agencies to penalize and/or prosecute for drag racing and modified vehicle exhaust systems. These include "fart can mufflers", straight pipes or other modified systems that vastly increases vehicle noise. For most residents living in New Castle County's suburbs, for example, even a half mile from the nearest arterial road can sound like track-side at a NASCAR event. Many people hear it inside their homes, even above their TV, especially on weekend nights. There is no police enforcement of this crime, so the offenders know they can get away with it. Often times, the decibel on acceleration is 120+ decibels, which if you're a pedestrian or bicyclist, is hurtful or damaging to the ear. This is assault, and 100% illegal according to Delaware law, in multiple code sections (HERE & HERE). Yet, as expected, it gets a free pass by Townsend and cohorts.

Where is Senator Townsend on this? Nowhere, that's where. He would rather pass a bill to criminalize snow on car rooftops, that may happen a few times each Winter. On the other hand, oppressive and painful vehicle noise from non-standard illegal exhaust systems goes FAR further in destroying the qualify of life, health and wellbeing of everyday Delawareans. Why doesn't Townsend and his Democrat-controlled legislature introduce a bill to step up prosecution of this deliberate and disgusting act by a small minority that hurts the clear majority, AND wildlife? Even the City of Newark and University Police won't enforce deafening vehicle noise, in an environment rich with walking and bicycling on or near the roads.

Senator Townsend, along with Rep Edward Osienski and NCC's Lisa Diller are the epitome of failed leadership. Not just in Delaware, but any State. Until we rise up and hold them accountable on issues like this, there will be no end to the corruption, in sight. Delaware is represented by the 4th most criminal State govt in the nation. Its residents have to act and vote with this in mind, in order to stop them.


Vehicle noise assault on a "complete street" in New Castle County, Delaware.

“If anyone walking along the sidewalk were to make deafening noises, spew poisonous gas into innocent faces, and threaten people with a deadly weapon, they would be arrested. Yet a few feet away, on the public roadway, it is considered normal behavior” ~Steve Stollman

Friday, April 16, 2021

Senator Jack Walsh's District 9 Pathways Disaster

The following letter (email) was sent to Senator Jack Walsh, Delaware District 9.

Greetings, Senator Walsh,

What is your plan for 2021, to repair and maintain what few asphalt pathways are in your region? These serve as vital connectors for foot/pedal traffic. As of right now, and last year, they are an unmitigated disaster. We have attached a few pics in this email that you should recognize, but there are plenty of others.

There is Bike Delaware, Delaware Greenways, DelDOT's Complete Streets, Gov Markel's Trails & Pathways initiative, Gov Minner's Livable DE, Safe Routes to School, etc etc we could go on and on. These pathways should be clearly defined, with min. 8' wide smooth asphalt.

Rep Baumbach is busy cutting ribbons on parks and pathways projects in his district all the time, in Newark. But yours -- like [Senator] Townsend's -- is like a 3rd world country, at best.

What are you going to do about it?   -- Frank Warnock & Angela Connolly



Above: An overgrown hedgerow and a 2" raised steel plate are the ultimate crash hazard along Wyoming Road. Yet this is routinely used as an extension of Newark's Hall Trail.

Above: Abandoned pathway along Wyoming Road in Newark. What was once wide and appealing for multi-modal use is avoided in favor of the road shoulder. 

Above: What remains of a pathway spur connector, between Prides Crossing and East Coast Greenway along SR4.

Above: Brookbend "Park". Viable parks, pathways and placemaking are virtually non-existent in Walsh's District 9, and (Senator) Townsend's District 11.

Above: Bike Path, aka East Coast Greenway, parallel to SR 4, also in Walsh's District 9. Walsh could ask DelDOT to rehab this facility, and others, perhaps attached to local road rehab projects.

Walsh's reply as of 4/14/2021: I had previously answered your question on one of these paths. It is located on private property and the Church is required to clean up the path. This is the first I am hearing about the other two paths. One path pictured is the county's responsibility, so I can reach out to Councilman Sheldon's office about that one. The other path is on Route 4 and I will contact DelDOT to get them to clean that up.

No, Walsh did not answer anything, not in writing. We can find nothing in writing, and requested that he forward any sent emails that may have been overlooked. "3rd World Country" as defining Walsh's District 9 (and Townsend's District 11) for pathways, parks and destination/place-making is 100% accurate. It may even be an understatement. Will he answer our inquiry above, with a serious action plan? That remains to be seen.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Bike Delaware erases first 5 years of its history

Correction: "15 Years Old TODAY"

Bike Delaware has re-written history, declaring a "10 Year Anniversary" as of March 22, 2021

It is said that a lady never reveals her true age. Bike Delaware has taken this advice to heart, chopping five years off the org's true age, thus erasing numerous successful advocacy efforts from 2006-2010.

Bike Delaware was originally founded in 2006, largely on the heels of John Boyle of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. He, along with Mario Nappa (past President of White Clay Bicycle Club), established a formal structure that included the Bike Delaware Blog and regular meetings at Wilmapco in Newark. By 2008, a fully functional website (partial archive here) was established, with weekly updates, including meeting schedules, minutes, current projects, DelDOT workshops, member's personal initiatives, pending legislation, and a year-end progress review (annual report). In time, other Advocates would join together to further grow, and develop, what we know today as Bike Delaware. This was for 5 years, prior to achieving 501(c)3 status in 2011.

Some of Bike Delaware's progress from 2006-2010, pre-501(c)3, in no particular order:

  • Bike Lanes over the St Georges Bridge
  • Stop the encroachment of radial channelizing islands on bike lanes
  • Right Turn-only lanes to shared bike lane/mixing zones
  • Route 1 fatals in Rehoboth: Shared bike-bus lane compromise
  • Support, demand Junction-Breakwater Trail (expedited)
  • Bike-Friendly City and State achievements
  • Full table setups: Regular presence at tabling events
  • Traffic Signal phase change sensitivity for bicycles
  • Delaware Bicycle Council legislation (3' Passing, Vulnerable Road Users, etc)
  • Rally bicyclists to DelDOT public workshops and project meetings
  • Interactive Delaware bicycle maps
  • Delaware MUTCD best practices for bicycling
  • Sharrow (shared lane marking) implementation and oversight
  • Endorse and assist other orgs and start-ups, e.g. Urban Bike Project

Bike Delaware is 15 years old in 2021
Acting in this manner -- ignoring 5 full years of their own history -- is a slap in the face to founding Advocates and their years of volunteering and hard work. Why is this the case? Executive Director (James Wilson) took exception with much of these past efforts, and/or those involved. This latest action of his is abhorrent, to say the least.

1st State Bikes was founded largely to expose Bike Delaware's brand of "advocacy" in their post-501(c)3 era, which is hardly the vision we had hoped for. The following articles about them are noteworthy, and can also be found in the right column of this website: