The American Heart Association, Bike Delaware, the Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware Greenways and Sussex Outdoors will together host the 2014 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit in Dover on May 1.
The summit will bring together Robert Burchfield, the City Traffic Engineer for the Portland Bureau of Transportation; Tracy Winfree, the Director of Public Works for the City of Boulder, Colorado; and Delaware elected officials, engineers, planners, cyclists, public health professionals and greenway and trail advocates. Portland and Boulder are two of only four “platinum”-ranked “bicycle-friendly” communities in the United States. Burchfield and Winfree will explain the steps their communities took to make cycling a mainstream and family-friendly part of the transportation systems of Portland and Boulder.
Delaware has two “bronze”-ranked communities, Newark and Lewes. No other communities in Delaware have yet been recognized as “bicycle-friendly”.
At last year’s Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara announced that Delaware had been ranked as the 5th most bicycle-friendly state in America (and the most bicycle-friendly state east of the Mississippi River). Just a few years earlier, Delaware had been ranked in the 30s among U.S. states. Delaware’s remarkable progress is in large part due to a supportive state government administration and legislature. A combination of state and federal funds has been used to invest in projects such as the Wilmington-New Castle Greenway and the Georgetown-Lewes Trail. A concept for a bikeway connecting Wilmington and Newark has also made progress.
In a recent State of the State speech, Governor Jack Markell said “One of the best ways we can improve our quality of life, and promote healthy lifestyles at the same time, is to make our state more walkable and bikeable.” By learning from the most bicycle-friendly places in America, the 2014 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit on May 1 will show us how we can make Governor Markell’s vision a reality in Delaware.
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