A Memorandum of Agreement between the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to Create and Maintain a Statewide System of Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathways and Trails that Will Support Non-motorized Travel and Recreation Opportunities within the State of Delaware
LEWES — At yesterday’s Delaware Bike Summit, Secretary of Delaware Department of Transportation Shailen Bhatt and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara released a list of proposed statewide trails and pathways and signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop and execute the Governor’s vision, “First State Trails and Pathways Plan“.
Secretary Bhatt received a standing ovation from biking advocates, elected officials and community leaders at the Delaware Bike Summit at the University of Delaware’s Virden Center in Lewes as he signed the DelDOT/DNREC MOA. Along with DNREC Secretary O’Mara, he released a detailed list of nineteen (19) possible projects for public consideration in each of Delaware’s three counties. “Starting today, let’s all get to work on the goal that Governor Markell has outlined. Let us agree that our legacy will be to make Delaware the most bike-friendly state in the country.”
DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara said during the Summit: “Under Governor Markell’s leadership, Delaware has the potential to create a world class network of interconnected trails. By making strategic investments and adopting innovative public policies, we will connect our communities and make them truly bikeable and walkable.”
Bike Delaware Executive Director James Wilson noted that Gov. Markell’s vision is also shared by Delaware’s legislators in both parties. “In May, the General Assembly unanimously declared that walking and bicycling are both cost-effective and healthy transportation options,” Wilson said. “Making those activities safer and more convenient will help families save money, improve public health, increase tourism, give a boost to economic development, reduce congestion, lower emissions, provide recreational opportunities and improve quality of life for Delawareans. What other transportation projects in Delaware have such an enormous and multifaceted return on public investment?”
Mark Chura, Executive Director of Delaware Greenways, noted that “today’s announcement by Governor Markell not only ties together and strengthens longstanding efforts to build a first class bicycle and pedestrian network throughout Delaware, but takes it to a whole new level. Interconnecting our towns with their outlying suburbs and close to home recreational areas benefits us all and is a great investment in Delaware’s future.” Chura went on to say, “We have some amazing places here in Delaware that, to most of us, are only accessible by car or not at all. The Governor’s initiative will change all that, while at the same time providing new options get out of doors and improve our health.”