New Castle County Bicycle Plan

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Everyone in Delaware has front-door access to a bicycle network that is safe, comfortable, and conveniently connected to places people want to go. A seamlessly integrated transportation and land use decision-making process, with many partners working together, encourages a culture where people choose bicycling in their daily lives for transportation, recreation, and improved health.


WILMAPCO staff will lead the development of a New Castle County Bicycle Plan, in coordination with New Castle County, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), municipalities, cyclists and other stakeholders to establish recommendations for improved safety, access and comfort of bicycling, prioritization of infrastructure improvements, and identification of programs and policies for education, enforcement and encouragement in New Castle County.

The Plan will identify and prioritize suggested bicycle facilities through public feedback and past planning, including:

Finally, the Plan will provide bicycling recommendations for incorporation into the 2019 WILMAPCO Regional Transportation Plan.


Identify bicycle transportation network.

  • Provide access within ¼ miles of network for all residents.
  • Focus on community destinations as points of access.
  • Identify key gaps and areas of safety concern.
  • Consider needs of all population groups, including active recreation and transportation needs.

Provide equitable bicycle facilities including access to transit.

  • Provide for those in need of affordable transportation.
  • Recommend bus stop locations where adequate and secure bicycle parking should be provided.
  • Identify safe and convenient bicycle routes to and from transit stations and stops.

Encourage adequate and secure bicycle parking and other end-of-trip facilities at all major trip destinations.

  • Review bicycle parking requirements in zoning codes and recommend revisions as needed.
  • Identify locations where bicycle parking should be provided.

Improve safety for bicycling through design, maintenance, and enforcement.

  • Recommend safe design and maintenance best practices for all bikeways and shared-use facilities, including lighting and signage. Identify strategic/critical locations for bicycle wayfinding (e.g. high-priority routes or complex/confusing areas)
  • Recommend measures to support enforcement of the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. Target violations that cause the most injuries and fatalities for selective enforcement.
  • Identify possible resources for training to local enforcement agencies.
  • Develop signage and promotional programs aimed at motor vehicle drivers to improve awareness of the needs and rights of bicyclists.

Incorporate bicycle elements into land use planning.

  • Consider bicycle accommodations in local development review procedures, and encourage incentives for bicycle accommodations.
  • Integrate the consideration of non-motorized facilities into all planning, design, construction, and maintenance activities of transportation or public works departments.

Develop implementation and evalaluation plan.

  • Establish collaborative strategies to collect and share data.
  • Work with DelDOT and other partners to identify locations for bicycle counts
  • Work with DelDOT and other partners to create and maintain a user-friendly experience that includes analog/digital mapping products, the updating of implementation information, and data sharing available for advocates, agencies, and users.
  • Prioritize recommended infrastructure projects, programs and policies for implementation.
  • Identify funding programs for implementation.
  • Continue to expand community and agency involvement in bicycle activities.

Project Boundaries

The plan will identify a bicycle network and recommendations for all unincorporated areas of New Castle County and its municipalities.  The plan will incorporate the bicycle recommendations from prior planning completed in Newark and Wilmington.


Project initiation and review of existing conditions

  • Identify existing programs and organizations
  • Identify stakeholders and form an advisory committee
  • Review existing conditions including plans and policies, facilities, crashes, and gaps.

Goals and objectives

  • Work with advisory committee to develop goals and objectives, including public outreach.

Recommended bicycle network

  • Recommended bicycle network including low-stress on street and off-road facilities.
  • Identify design best practices and innovations.

Programs and policies. Identify suggested bicycling programs and policies that address:

  • Maintenance
  • Parking and other support facilities
  • Transit connections
  • Cross-community connections
  • Safety and enforcement
  • Equitable access
  • Land use development
  • Education
  • Encouragement

Prioritization, funding and implementation

  • Identify recommended prioritization process.
  • Prioritize projects recommended for the bicycle network.
  • Identify existing and suggested resources to fund and support the Plan’s implementation.


  • Identify performance measures for inclusion in the Regional Progress Report.

Advisory Committee and Community Involvement

The development of this Plan will be guided under the direction of an Advisory Committee that will represent a variety of stakeholders and agencies needed to implement the Plan, such as county and state officials, municipalities, community groups, businesses, and citizens. The Advisory Committee will meet 4-6 times, provide advice on the development of the Bicycle Plan, and will be a conduit for public outreach.

The role of members includes the following:

  • Assist in setting goals, strategies, and actions
  • Assist in the bicycle network identification
  • Identify important destinations
  • Locate sites for bike parking
  • Review maps and document drafts
  • Assist with public outreach and supply leadership

The New Castle County Bicycle Plan will involve members of the public throughout the entire process, including planning and implementation of the bicycle system.  Strategies include providing information through the WILMAPCO website and newsletters, attending community events and meetings, and seeking input through interactive mapping, surveys, workshops and the Advisory Committee.  Over the course of the planning process, public feedback will be sought out through at least two or three public open-house workshops.