A Message from the Governor
According to the League of American Bicyclists, Delaware is the 9th most bicycle friendly state in the United States, and – as an avid cyclist and your governor – I am committed to policies and infrastructure improvements that will make our state an even more safe and convenient place to travel by bicycle.
Through programs and policies such as Rails-to-Trails, Complete Streets, Transportation Alternatives that includes Safe Routes to School, the Delaware Department of Transportation has taken the lead in creating facilities that encourage cycling throughout the First State, the design of the remaining segments of the Georgetown to Lewes Trail has begun, construction is underway for the separated bikeway along Delaware Avenue in Newark and the Delaware General Assembly has passed laws to protect cyclists and promote cycling.
In October 2017, I signed the Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act, which reforms the Rules of the Road regarding interactions between motorists and bicyclists. Delaware’s rules now require motorists to change lanes when passing bicyclists (when lanes are too narrow for side-by-side sharing), forbid motorists from maliciously honking at bicyclists, permit bicyclists to safely yield at stop signs (often referred to as the “Delaware Yield”) and to ride two abreast eliminating the requirement for bicyclists to always ride far to the right, as well as other safety improvements.
In September 2021, I also signed HB 121 making the “Delaware Yield” permanent. It permits cyclists in Delaware to treat most Stop signs as Yield signs. The law does not grant a cyclist any preference over vehicles already in an intersection, but it does permit a cyclist to slow down and proceed carefully through an intersection without having to come to a complete stop if it is safe for the cyclist to do that.
Among our recent accomplishments:
The Killens Pond Bridge was completed in April 2021. The new elevated boardwalk provides a safer connection along the east side of Killens Pond for bicyclists, pedestrians and has four bump-outs for fishing or just observation.
In July 2021, we celebrated the completion of the final phase of the Junction-Breakwater Trail. Bicyclists and pedestrians can now navigate from Rehoboth Avenue Extended to Canal Crossing Road using a 10-foot-wide shared-use path leading to a two-way buffered bicycle lane along Rehoboth Avenue Extended to Grove Park within the City of Rehoboth Beach
Then, a month later, cycling enthusiasts in the First State had another reason to celebrate as construction for Phase 2 for Capital City Trail from Greentree Shopping Center to South State Street along Route 10 came to an end bringing us even closer to the end goal, a 14.5-mile trail loop that will provide residents a safe and convenient alternative to getting around the City of Dover and surrounding areas.
The completion of Phase 8 of the Georgetown to Lewes Trail from Downtown Georgetown to Sussex Academy followed in November of 2021. This portion of the trail was constructed along an active railroad line and separated by a tall chain-link fence. Once complete the entire length of the trail will total 16.9 miles.
In May 2022, the White Clay Creek Trail Bridge was completed providing a separate connection between Paper Mill Park and Olan Thomas Park for bicyclists and pedestrians. The bridge was pre-fabricated off site and hoisted into place by two cranes dramatically reducing the duration of the project.
Improving the safety and convenience of bicycling has many advantages. It encourages people to get more exercise. It reduces fuel consumption and vehicles emissions that harm human health and the environment, ad it enables people to enjoy the scenic beauty of our wonderful state.
I look forward to continuing my work with the Delaware Bicycle Council to make Delaware an even more bicycle- friendly place for our residents and our visitors. We’ve come a long way, but our work is no done.
I look forward to seeing you on the road,
Governor John Carney