Wednesday, October 18, 2023

DelDOT's Ignorance of AASHTO Bicycle Facility Guidance

The typical DelDOT "shared use" curb cut, in clear violation of AASHTO guidance

2012 AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (pdf)

5.3.5 Other Intersection Treatments: Curb Ramps and Aprons
The opening of a shared use path at the roadway should be at least the same width as the shared use path itself. If a curb ramp is provided, the ramp should be the full width of the path, not including any side flares if utilized. The approach should provide a smooth and accessible transition between the path and the roadway.
AASHTO No-No: Sidewalks as "Bikeways", signed as such

DelDOT's Pavement & Rehabilitation section routinely installs as little as 4' wide ramps and island cut-throughs on bi-directional shared-use pathway (SUP) facilities. According to AASHTO guidance, this practice relegates these facilities to sidewalks. Perhaps nobody even notices this, after all, "why build good bike facilities, when nobody rides because of the lack of good facilities?" ~Barry Childress (Chair, Baltimore Spokes).

According to unnamed experts in the field, DelDOT's ignorance of AASHTO makes them responsible in the advent of an accident or crash. Further, the installation of signs indicating these are bikeways, when in fact bicycle equity and safety is gravely compromised should be an embarrassment to the Department. It also indicates just how involved the various advocacy orgs (DE Bicycle Council, DE Greenways, Bike DE, etc) are in "connecting everyone with a bicycle-friendly transportation network".

All of the $44M in RAISE funds granted to DE are going into two high profile projects that will fix none of the problems with Delaware's current bicycling infrastructure. Most of what we see now is in a state of disconnect and ruin, and will stay that way thanks to the above parties. Instead of developing design guidance for SUP width and alignment through stroad intersections, for example, and turning the countless "goat paths" in New Castle County into AASHTO-compliant pathways, every dollar goes to benefit a tiny minority.

The installation of grossly inadequate "multi-modal" infrastructure continues unabated in Delaware, and will guarantee that we remain a whopping ~0.02% bicycling modeshare. The State will continue as most dangerous in the U.S. for bicyclists and 2nd most deadly behind Florida. Oil-based transportation is the #1 source of AGW emissions, as our "leaders" in govt agencies and non-profits (most of whom never actually bike, or even walk apparently) make the decisions that seal this fate. Shame on all of them.

10' wide is reduced to 5' on the Linden Hill shared use pathway at Skyline Drive in Pike Creek

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Greed, Moral Bankruptcy, and the "WaWa Effect"

The massive growth of "convenience" superstores, and their vast array of mega-gas pumps and car-infested parking lots is fast destroying any notion of a bikeable greater Newark. In the past, residents from within City limits have been able to defeat the plans of these greedy corporations and their billionaire CEOs and investors -- particularly along Elkton Rd/new S. Main Street. Such spotty success, however, sends the message that bicycling for transportation is unique to select small areas, like college towns. Yet the vast majority of car trips made in the U.S. are generated in suburbs and are less than a mile long. This is a distance easily biked or walked by at least 2/3 of Americans, but our so-called leaders in local and State govt and their supporting organizations aren't interested in that.

First of two Wawas proposed for South College Avenue advances

Key Excerpts:
Commissioner Christopher Williamson expressed dismay that Wawa is seeking to come to an area already crowded with gas stations. Wawa would be the fifth gas station in the 1-mile stretch of South College Avenue leading up to the I-95 interchange. A sixth gas station, a Dash In, is proposed for across the street at the site of the Rodeway Inn.

“Talk about a bleak landscape between West Chestnut Hill Road and the freeway. It’s disappointing it’s turned out this way. I know it meets code, I know that it’s economics that drives what you can put there,” Williamson said. “That one little shopping center and Jersey Mike’s, there’s hardly a blade of green grass in there. It’s pretty bleak looking. I just wish the city could have gotten ahead of it, but it’s too late, the train is out of the station.”

Despite expressing concerns about the project, the planning commission voted 6-0 to recommend city council approve a minor subdivision and special-use permit for the Wawa. A date for council consideration has not yet been scheduled.

The Wawa proposal voted on Tuesday is one [FOUR MORE] being proposed in and around Newark [Full article . . .]

Newark is even on board for annexing the necessary land to encourage WaWa's gross expansion. As such, the promotion and approval of these cancerous blights will be the City leader's 'legacy'. Instead of planting trees, in their minds, it is more important to destroy the environment, lock in car-dependency, and ruin any sense of placemaking. They, and their New Castle County cohorts in "Planning" and Land Use are the antithesis of One Less Car and are equally to blame for this disaster. Shame on everyone involved.

NO to Super WaWa at Apple and Elkton Roads in Newark
Is this what we really want for South Main Street?
Where is Bike Delaware on projects that really matter?

Mayor: WaWa out of the picture for Park n' Shop