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Delaware ranked No. 4 among Bicycle Friendly States

Date Posted: Thursday, May 1st, 2014
Categories:  DelDOT DNREC Kent County New Castle County News Office of Governor Markell Sussex County

Bike Month brings latest ranking from League of American Bicyclists

Dover – Kicking off National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. In the seventh annual assessment, Delaware ranked No. 4 nationally, while placing No. 1 in the East and receiving 55.7 points out of 100.

Delaware ranked No. 5 in the League’s 2013 ranking, but ranked No. 31 as recently as 2008. The only states that rank above Delaware in 2014 are Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

“Making Delaware a more bike-friendly state is a central piece of our efforts to ensure Delaware continues to be an attractive place to live, raise a family, and retire,” said Markell. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the seriousness with which leaders across our state, from the administration to the General Assembly to community advocates, have taken our work to extend the reach of existing trails and pathways, while constructing new trails where the opportunities are greatest.”

The Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking is based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.

The League gave Delaware high marks for its bicycle-friendly policies and programs as well as its education and encouragement of biking among the public. Its annual report card noted new commitments by the state involving bicycle education for police and an emphasis on bicycle safety in strategic highway planning. The League also recognized the potential of a number of projects underway, including city-suburb bikeway connections on the Wilmington-New Castle Greenway, as well as development of the Georgetown-Lewes Trail and Wilmington-Newark bikeway.

“Delaware’s move up nationally from fifth to fourth place is yet another major step on the move towards making Delaware the most bicycle friendly state in America,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “We’ve made major strides in the last two years, under the Governor’s leadership and with our partners, building and connecting trails throughout Delaware. With 74 percent of Delawareans walking or running, this effort is critical to our state’s health, our environment and our economy.  We’re on the right track and on the move toward number-one.”

“Receiving national recognition for the hard work of all involved in our efforts to create a more walkable/bikeable Delaware is truly gratifying,” said DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt.  “The trails and pathways that  have been completed or are under construction across our state, as well as those now in the planning stages, deliver on our commitment to provide a transportation system that serves all of our citizens, while building more inter-connected and safer communities.  All Delawareans can be justifiably proud of the ranking our state has achieved.”

The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff will work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help Delaware identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.

“We are excited and encouraged to see real progress in states like California, Minnesota and Utah,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “Overall, we still see a lot of opportunity to realize the huge potential of bicycling to promote health, economic development, and quality of life.”

Learn more about the BFS program at www.bikeleague.org/content/states.

About the Bicycle Friendly America Program

The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle. Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly America program at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.

About the League of American Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful unified voice for change. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.

 

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