Newark — DiamlerChrysler’s A.M. Consortium is the first entity to adopt a bike path in Delaware. To celebrate the historic moment, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) unveiled the first Adopt-A-Bike Path sign at a July 27 event at the DART Park-n-Ride located at Route 896 and Route 4 in Newark.
The program was spearheaded by state Rep. Stephanie A. Ulbrich of Newark, and had the support of other legislators, the Delaware Bicycle Council, Delaware Greenways, as well as cyclists, pedestrians and residents statewide. Rep. Ulbrich was instrumental in obtaining DiamlerChrysler’s A.M. Consortium as the first adopter to enroll in the program. They have adopted the bike path along Christina Parkway from Elkton Road to Route 896.
DelDOT Secretary Nathan Hayward III encourages all those who care about Delaware’s environment and roadsides to participate in this new program. “Bicycle and walking paths are critical to an efficient transportation system, and this program allows cyclists to truly impact Delaware’s environmental future.”
Rep. Ulbrich said, “I am so thrilled that this program has become a reality. After hearing from a number of constituents who expressed concern about the safety of bike paths, I began to explore the possibility of such a program. Just as the Adopt-A-Highway Program has been so successful because of its cooperative effort between citizens and DelDOT, I am hopeful that the Adopt-A-Bike Path Program will follow suit. I believe it will be a cooperative effort between businesses of our state and DelDOT.”
A.M. Consortium, which will have a sign with its name posted along the bicycle path, will do three clean ups per year, after each they will submit an activity report noting the number of hours spent cleaning the path, number of people participating and the number of bags of trash collected along the path. These activity reports are vital to the success of the program, and ensure continued participation in the program. While clean bike paths are important, an even more important objective of the program is to remove dangerous debris from these paths in order to protect the safety of those who use them.
The program operates much like DelDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program by offering individuals, businesses, civic groups and other interested persons an opportunity to actively support anti-littering via adoption of a state-owned and maintained bike path. More than just a clean-up program, this program works to educate citizens of all ages about the responsibilities of land stewardship and about bicycling as an alternative form of transportation.
Of equal importance, DART First State, DelDOT’s transit operator, is also encouraging the use of bike paths and cycling and has equipped all buses on fixed routes with bike racks. A bio-diesel bus and bus operator were present at the event for demonstration purposes on how to properly stow bikes on bus bike racks.
The Department is interested in fostering a working relationship with pedestrians, cyclists and anyone who is interested in helping to keep these areas well maintained. Go to DelDOT’s Web site at www.deldot.gov/AABP to download an application package. They can also contact DelDOT’s Public Relations Office at (302) 760-2080 or 800-652-5600.