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About the Project

Project Need

The Delaware Avenue Separated Bikeway Improvements Project will provide a much needed safe east-west bicycle facility through downtown Newark and the heart of the University of Delaware’s campus. reconstruct deteriorating pavement, improve traffic capacity, operations, and safety and add pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities.

Project Background

Delaware Avenue is a two-lane, one-way roadway running through the center of the University of Delaware and downtown Newark. While Delaware Avenue has an eastbound bike lane, there is not an adequate bikeway for westbound bicycle traffic and cyclists typically occupy the sidewalk.  The 1.2 mile segment includes six (6) signalized intersections, numerous commercial entrances, and a major mid-block pedestrian crossing. 

A study was performed to determine the feasibility of a two-way cycle track on a one-way roadway, while identifying potential solutions to problem areas along the corridor. The study evaluated design alternatives including fitting the bike facility within the existing footprint of the roadway or widening the roadway to allow for a wider buffered bikeway. The study evaluated one-way and two-way bicycle facilities as well as location of the facilities within the roadway, various buffer treatments and evaluation of numerous signal design options. A stakeholder group involving representatives from the City of Newark, WILMAPCO, Bike Delaware, and the University of Delaware was developed to guide the alternatives evaluation process. Data collection and analysis included traffic volumes, pedestrian and bicycle volumes, pedestrian/bicycle crash history, transit stop location and ridership, and current/proposed land use. In addition, similar facilities were researched throughout the country to establish best practices for planning, design, and implementation of these separated bike facilities. As a method to test user comfort of the bikeway, a mock installation of the facility was set up along a portion of Delaware Avenue. The public was invited to test the facility and give input into its design. A survey was developed to document the public feedback, the user experience and comfort level after bicycling the mock facility installation. 

The separated bikeway across the Newark High School frontage conflicted with the school’s pick-up/drop-off operation and DART’s transit stop. An off-road one-way eastbound separated bike and sidewalk section was proposed across the school’s frontage, which continued as a shared use path and connected to an existing shared use path along Library Avenue. In addition, a floating DART bus stop is proposed to allow buses, cyclists, and bus riders to safely coexist in the bus stop area in front of the high school. A one-way separated bike and sidewalk section is proposed on the westbound side of Delaware Avenue from Library Avenue to the Pomeroy Trail crossing.  

A raised tabletop intersection is proposed at South College Avenue. As one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the State, the design will facilitate safe pedestrian movements and serve as traffic calming for vehicles.  

Pedestrian access will be maintained at intersections during construction. 

Road construction will begin in December 2021 and is estimated to be complete in December 2022.  

Project Overview

The Delaware Avenue Separated Bikeway Improvements Project include the following improvements: 

  1. A two-way separated bikeway from Orchard Road to the Pomeroy Trail crossing. The bikeway will be separate cyclists and vehicular traffic with low mountable bike friendly median curb. Bikeway movements will be signalized. See FAQ’s for more information. 
  1. A one-way separated bikeways on each side of Delaware Avenue from the Pomeroy Trail crossing to Library Avenue. Bikeway movements will be signalized. See FAQ’s for more information. 
  1. Raised tabletop intersection at S. College Avenue. The pedestrian scramble crossing will remain. 
  1. Concrete pavement reconstruction from S. College Avenue to Tyre Avenue. 
  1. Asphalt pavement reconstruction from Tyre Avenue to Library Avenue. 
  1. New signals at the following Delaware Avenue intersections: 
    • a. Orchard Road
    • b. Academy Street
    • c. Haines Street
    • d. Tyre Avenue
    • e. Library Avenue
  1. Modify the signals at the following Delaware Avenue intersections: 
    • a. S. College Avenue
    • b. The Green pedestrian crossing
    • c. S. Chapel Street
    • d. Tyre Avenue
    • e. Pomeroy Trail pedestrian crossing
  1. Addition of a bike box on the Delaware Avenue approach to Library Avenue for cyclists turning left onto northbound Library Avenue. 
  1. Improve the S. Main Street and Amstel Avenue intersection with bicycle signalized crossing to provide access to the recently constructed Caesar Rodney Stormwater Pond and Park. The Amstel Avenue approach to S. Main Street will include a bike box for cyclists to queue.  
  1. Asphalt pavement mill and overlay from S. Main Street to S. Chapel Street 
  1. New roadway lighting and pedestrian lighting from Tyre Avenue to Library Avenue 
  1. Upgrading and adding pedestrian facilities such as curb ramps and sidewalk segments. 
  1. Improved drainage