Dover – The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces that the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) has selected Delaware as the ninth most bicycle friendly state in the nation. Delaware has moved from #31 to #9 in one year.
LAB’s Bicycle Friendly State program ranks all 50 states based upon support for bicycling. A Bicycle Friendly State provides safe accommodations for cycling and encourages its residents to bike for transportation and recreation.
“It is good to see that more Delawareans are getting out of their cars and onto their bikes,” said Gov. Jack Markell, who has ridden the length of Delaware three times with family and friends since 2006 and plans to do so again later this year. “The more people who bike or walk instead of drive are mitigating climate change, traffic congestion, health problems, and fuel costs. I look forward to working with the Department of Transportation to make Delaware even more friendly to cyclists.”
“DelDOT staff, the Delaware Bicycle Council, cycling groups, alternative transportation groups, and planning organizations are working very hard to promote smart transportation,” Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks, P.E. said. “We will continue to look at incorporating bike friendly design into infrastructure but we know utilizing alternative transportation is most often a lifestyle choice. I hope people will continue to choose cycling, transit, and trains to get to their destinations.”
The Bicycle Friendly State program is revolutionizing the way states evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress and work toward improving their bicycle friendliness. The rankings are used to create momentum amongst states and communities to continue to become more bicycle friendly.
“The League’s Bicycle Friendly State review committee was awed with Delaware’s potential and growing commitment to make this a great place for bicyclists,” DelDOT Bicycle Coordinator Anthony Aglio said. “The honorable mention given by the reviewers reflects their view that some of the key building blocks of developing a bicycle friendly state are in place but that some actions remain to be completed. Reviewers were impressed with the recent Executive Order requiring Complete Streets legislation; and encouragement efforts from the first state bike summit to the Wilmington Grand Prix and non-motorized transportation staff in each planning organization.”
The Bicycle Friendly State program has two parts that rank and recognize states that actively support bicycling. First, states are ranked annually based on their level of bike friendliness. Secondly, states that wish to apply for a Bicycle Friendly State award designation can receive further recognition and promotion of their efforts as well as feedback, technical assistance, training and further encouragement to improve their bicycling legislation, projects, and programs.
Delaware is the highest placing state in the Mid-Atlantic. Nationally, from first to 10th respectively are Washington, Wisconsin, Maine, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona, New Hampshire, Delaware, and New Jersey. Furthermore, Delaware received one of only two honorable mentions for the Bicycle Friendly State award, of which only four states won full designation. DelDOT is striving to achieve full designation, and an honorable mention is a good indication of its future attainment.
This is the second annual ranking from LAB, based in Washington, DC. States were scored based upon a 75-item questionnaire that covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement. Delaware’s best scores were in the evaluation and planning, infrastructure, and legislation categories. The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.