In the first article in this series, I discussed a tremendous step forward for Delaware, and for bicycling in our state, when the General Assembly allocated in June $5,000,000 for state bike routes in the 2012 state budget. I described that as a home run as that was an order of magnitude more than was ever allocated in the past. It could be a grand slam if we receive a 4x match from the federal government as expected. We rightly gave much of the credit for that success to Governor Markell and to Senator Venables. Modestly, we believe that Bike Delaware also played a key role by meeting with senators and pressing them to pass a resolution to seek additional funding for bikeways, which opened the door for Markell.
In cycling terms, if our effort in 2010 represented our getting clipped in and coming out of the gate, this year we’re now well down the road and gaining momentum. Since my last writing, we’ve added two new key board members: Bill Osborne and Doug Tynan. Bill is COO of Springside Plaza and principal of William Osborne, Inc, an organization that provides consulting services for startups and not-for-profit organizations. Doug is a Senior Fellow at Jefferson School of Population Health and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College. In addition, we have filled two key committee chairs with Bob Ruddy taking on duties as Webmaster and Angela Cunneely guiding Membership. This additional leadership is essential to sustain and build on our early success. There’s more big news. In August, Advocacy Advance selected Bike Delaware as one of four grant recipients from more than 60 applications. We were awarded a Capacity Building Grant of $10,000 to “help Bike Delaware create a national model to increase state bicycle and pedestrian funding.”
The grant from Advocacy Advance is intended to supplement but not replace other fund-raising efforts. It is a matching grant, which means we need to raise an equivalent amount of funds to get the full disbursement. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time but we still have a long way to go to both match the grant and to become sustainable with a full-time staff. White Clay has provided a funding toe-hold for starting up, which the board has virtually matched out of pocket, but now more than ever we need your individual support to match the Advocacy Advance grant and to have similar success in 2012. Please go to the donate section on our website or send a check to Bike Delaware c/o Gail E. Robillard, treasurer, at PO Box 9456, Wilmington, DE 19809. Please note “Bike Delaware Advocacy Advance Match” on your gift so we can double the value with funds from the grant.