October 2016

In this issue...

Cleveland Avenue Bicycle Infrastructure Plans 
Elkton Road Bicycle Infrastructure Plans
Library Avenue Bicycle Infrastructure Plans

November First Friday Ride
Winter Cycling for Daily Living
Scene Around Town
Connect With Us!

Cleveland Avenue
Bicycle Infrastructure Plans

On Wednesday, October 5, the Cleveland Avenue Improvement Task Force concluded its eight-month effort to consider curb-to-curb upgrades of Cleveland Avenue that could be integrated into DelDOT’s upcoming pave-and-rehab project. The committee voted on the following improvements based on the results of modeling work and analyses conducted by DelDOT. These recommendations were subsequently approved by the Newark Traffic Committee on October 18 and will now be considered by the Newark City Council for final approval.
  • Eastbound and westbound bike lanes from New London Road to Kirkwood Highway
  • A “road diet” between Paper Mill and Kirkwood Highway (reducing two travel lanes each direction to one travel lane each direction plus a middle left-turn lane)
  • Crosswalk improvements at the Wilbur Street intersection
  • Addition of a crosswalk near the McKees Lane intersection
  • Changing the travel direction on Margaret Street to one-way, northbound
See a more detailed presentation of the proposed changes.  

All task force meetings were open to the public and neighboring property owners were invited to participate in the work of the committee. The committee represented a number of stakeholders in the community.

The Newark Bicycle Committee thanks the Task Force voting members for their work:

Fred Nelson – Newark Police Department and Task Force Chair
Tom Coleman – Newark Department of Public Works & Water Resources
Maureen Feeney-Roser – Newark Department of Planning & Development
Dave Gula – WILMAPCO
Chris Locke – The Mill at White Clay
Susan Grasso – Newark Bicycle Committee
Mark Luszcz – Delaware Department of Transportation
Tom Parkins – Resident
Skip Homiak – University of Delaware
Eve Slapp – Matt Slapp Subaru
Amy Roe – NAACP
Meghan George – Newark Housing Authority
Christine Herman – Herman’s Quality Meat Shoppe
Kaylee Olnee – Resident

Stay tuned for details on this important community project.

Elkton Road
Bicycle Infrastructure Plans

On October 24, DelDOT will be hosting a public workshop to get community feedback on draft plans for Elkton Road from Fletchwood Road in Maryland to Casho Mill Road. Draft plans show improved bike lanes, added sidewalks, and a new multi-use pedestrian/bicycle path. The improvements will provide an off-road, low-stress bicycle route to both Newark Charter School locations. DelDOT hopes to begin construction in 2018. The workshop will be held at the Newark Charter High School, 200 McIntire Drive, Newark. Stop by anytime between 4–7 p.m. to learn about and comment on the draft plans. Learn more.


Library Avenue 
Bicycle Infrastructure Plans

DelDOT also plans to upgrade the existing sidewalk and pathway on Library Avenue between Delaware Avenue and south of Old Baltimore Pike. Where feasible, DelDOT will be widening the path to better accommodate shared bicycle/pedestrian use and repaving the entire route. DelDOT hopes to begin next year as part of a planned paving-and-rehabilitation project. When complete, Library Avenue will better welcome travelers along the East Coast Greenway (ECG), an off-road pedestrian and bicycle route between Maine and Florida. Under development, the ECG enters Newark along Library Avenue and then connects to the James F. Hall Trail and planned Elkton Road improvements.


November First Friday Ride! 

Join us on Friday, November 4, for our fourth First Friday Ride and help us make it the biggest showing yet! This will be our first “dark ride,” so help us light up the town by decorating your bikes with lights! Remember that front white lights are legally required for night riding and rear red lights are highly recommended. Need bike lights? Stop by Bikeline or Wooden Wheels anytime on Friday, November 4, tell them you need lights for the November First Friday Ride, and you’ll receive a 10% discount and installation on the spot! November’s post-party ride will be at the Iron Hill Brewery on Main Street. Visit our Facebook page for more details on November's ride. We hope you can make it!

November Route

About First Friday Rides
These monthly slow rides through the center of town are organized to show support for bicycling and Main Street. We meet up at 5:15 p.m. at the Newark Shopping Center and ride as a group on a planned route with an après-ride gathering at one of Newark’s finest establishments!  

Rides are led by members of the Newark bicycling community. We emphasize following the rules of the road and engaging in civil encounters with motorists and pedestrians. We ride 2x2 when in car travel lanes and single-file in bike lanes, and on shared bike paths we yield to pedestrians. We make sure not to leave anyone behind by stopping occasionally to re-group.  

Winter Cycling for Daily Living

If you’ve gotten into the habit and mindset of using a bike for your transportation needs during fair weather months, you’ve probably experienced real reluctance to going back to a fully car-dependent lifestyle. For many of us, though, winter cold forces us into the driver’s seat for several months out of the year at a time when we most need the exercise and mental well-being that accompanies being on a bicycle. You might be surprised to know that, with a little investment and patience, winter riding can provide the same psychological shift that converted you to bicycle transportation in the first place. Check out our suggestions for how to stay on your bike as the thermostat falls.  

How to Get Started
Any outdoorsy person knows that layering is the key to staying warm and managing sweat in the cold. Layering is about creating personal microclimates (for your head, face, hands, torso, legs and feet). One of the biggest challenges to winter riding is managing your body temperature as your body generates heat while you ride, and experimentation will help you discover which layering system works for you. Here are some ideas to consider:
  • Protect your core.  A common configuration for biking includes a wicking base-layer shirt followed by an insulating fleece top, then a waterproof and windproof shell jacket. For the legs, usually one fewer layer is needed; many riders wear normal pants, like jeans, covered up with a wind-shell pant. If your commute is long, consider bike tights or shorts with a chamois pad combined with long-underwear bottoms and the shell pants on top.
  • Headwear. Jacket hoods are a no-no, as air funnels in as you move, inflating a hood like a sail, not to mention compromising your peripheral vision. Instead, many riders wear balaclavas and sunglasses or ski goggles. Tight-fitting (but warm) fleece skull caps are popular. Top it off with a helmet, perhaps sized larger in winter to fit over all the insulation.
  • Warm hands and feet. Switch out gloves for mittens or bifurcated “lobster”-style handwear, which keep fingers close together and warmer. Winter boots, not bike shoes, are best for the coldest days, but use platform pedals with aggressive tread for good grip as you crank. Above 20 degrees, many riders get away with bike shoes, employing neoprene covers to add insulation and buffer warm air. Some companies sell insulated winterized bike shoes compatible with clipless pedals.
Other Useful Tips
  1. Be visible. In Newark, darkness descends around 5 p.m. in the heart of winter. Make sure you have a good front white light and rear red light, and consider getting some side lights as well. Be sure to change your batteries regularly and wear reflective gear too.
  2. Be careful. Muffled heads make it harder to hear, and drivers are often less aware of cyclists in winter, so rely on your eyes when you ride. Ride defensively and make eye contact.
  3. Ride steadily. For slippery stretches, riders should slow down and stay loose. Brake only on the rear wheel to avoid spinouts on slick surfaces. And be prepared to take your feet off the pedals if the bike starts to fishtail or tilt.
  4. Choose the right bike. Sand, salt, and grit can destroy suspension and gears, so consider an older bike that you designate for cold-weather use, adding fenders, bright lights, and perhaps winter wheels.
  5. Tires. Studded tires or fat bikes are an option, but these may not be needed for most winter commuting days in Newark.
  6. Road conditions. Here in Newark, road conditions during most winter commutes are often the same dry pavement as in the summer. Sand, salt, sun, and snowplows eliminate ice and snow from main roads in the days after a storm.
Winter riding isn’t for everyone, but you might be surprised to find it easier and more accessible than you think. We hope you’ll give it a try!

(Modified from

Scene Around Town 

New bike lanes on Academy Street, thanks to our City of Newark Department of Public Works & Water Resources. One more piece added to our city-wide bicycle-network puzzle!

A few of the 63 bicyclists who turned out for our October First Friday “Fall Flannel” Ride celebrating at Klondike Kate’s!


  • October 20  Newark Bicycle Committee monthly meeting, WILMAPCO, 4 p.m.
  • October 24  DelDOT Workshop: Elkton Rd. Bicycle Infrastructure Project, Newark Charter High School, 4–7 p.m.
  • November 3   First Friday Ride, Newark Shopping Center, departs 5:30 p.m.
  • November 17  Newark Bicycle Committee monthly meeting, WILMAPCO, 4 p.m.

Connect With Us!

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The Newark Bicycle Committee is a partnership of interested cyclists and agencies working to improve bicycling in Newark, Delaware.

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