• City of Newark Applies for Federal Funding for Main Street Sharrows

    by  • February 20, 2013 • Federal Funding, Traffic Control • 3 Comments

    The City of Newark has submitted an application for funding under the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for sharrows for its Main Street.

    If approved, the sharrows on Main Street will connect the Pomeroy Trail to New London Road.

    The “sharrow” (or “shared lane”) pavement marking is a relatively recent pavement marking that was introduced a few years back into the manual of allowed pavement markings. Wilmington has installed these markings on its Market Street.  If Newark’s application for federal funding is successful, Main Street in Newark will be the second place in Delaware to see sharrows.

     First sharrows installed on Market Street in downtown Wilmington in 2010.

    Main Street in Newark is a particularly compelling place for the use of this new pavement marking. Main Street and Delaware Street are a pair of one-way streets. But Main Street has parallel parking and lacks sufficient width for a bike lane. The sharrow assists bicyclists in this situation by indicating that bicyclists should “take the lane” (and avoid bicycling in the “door zone“). Delaware Avenue, meanwhile, sees large numbers of “wrong-way” bicyclists who are not using Main Street to travel west. Moreover, Main Street is the economic heart of Newark, a mixed land use regional center with retail and restaurants, high-density residential and offices.  In 2011, Newark’s Main Street was selected for the prestigious “Great American Main Street Award” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    City of Newark Principal Planner (and chair of the Newark Bicycle Committee) Mike Fortner says that sharrows are a “highest priority” facility to help make Newark more bicycle friendly.  “Municipal and state budgets have been very constrained right now, so this seemingly simple project has been stalled. The City is grateful to WILMAPCO for making grants like the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) available to municipalities to take advantage of.  I think sharrows on E. Main Street would be an excellent use of TAP funds.”


      James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware.






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    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever. Delaware is now officially ranked as the #3 Bicycle Friendly State in America.

    3 Responses to City of Newark Applies for Federal Funding for Main Street Sharrows

    1. Scritchy
      February 20, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      ”Municipal and state budgets have been very constrained right now, so this seemingly simple project has been stalled.”

      Yet no problems finding millions of dollars for additional car parking behind Main Street, attracting even more cars downtown. But can’t find a few thousand for paint and a stencil to increase bicycle safety? Ask yourself … is Newark and UD really serious about reducing auto-dependency and upping bike modeshare?


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