Sunday, July 01, 2012

Little Delaware to spend $13.25 Million on Walking & Biking

The following comes to use from our friends at Bike Delaware.  Delaware ups the ante in the bike/ped arms race in the Bicycle Friendly States rankings.  Can New Jersey keep up to little bitty Delaware?

VICTORY FOR CYCLING: Delaware General Assembly Votes $13.25 Million for Walking and Bicycling





Senator Robert Venables (left), Governor Jack Markell (center) and Representative Helene Keeley (right)
Both the Delaware House and Senate voted unanimously last night to approve a capital budget for the state of Delaware, including an unprecedented $13.25 million for walking and bicycling, a 90% increase over last year’s state commitment to walking and bicycling.
Ironically, the unanimous vote in the Delaware Senate at around 8PM came just a little more than 24 hours after the United States Congress voted to eliminate the main federal programs for walking and bicycling.  As there was not enough time to amend the bill, Delaware’s capital budget also still includes authorization for a state contribution (a much smaller sum of $388,000) to the Transportation Enhancements program, even though that program now no longer exists.
Governor Jack Markell, Senator Robert Venables (D-Laurel) and Representative Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington) all played key leadership roles in this victory for walking and bicycling.  Senator Venables was recognized last year as the 2011 Bike Friendly Elected Official for his leadership.
“Our Governor, his Cabinet, and both sessions of the 146th General Assembly have made historic progress for Delaware in improving the built environment of Delaware,” said John Hollis of Sussex Outdoors and Nemours Health and Prevention Services.  ”These nationally recognized improvements will give all Delawareans opportunities for a healthier lifestyle through walkability and bikeability.”
Calling last night’s vote an “historic accomplishment”, Bike Delaware Vice President Bill Osborne said it “would not have been possible without the confluence of several independent forces. First and foremost is the vision and leadership in both the Executive and Legislative branches of Delaware. Add to that the passion and commitment of the consumers/constituents who evidenced their support. Plus we had the essential benefit of an improved economic forecast that made this a decision of inclusion rather than substitution.”
The $13.25 million total commitment by the state is made of up two separate line items, $10.25 million in the Delaware of Transportation and $3 million in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.  Both Departments are cooperating to create an interconnected network of shared-use trails and pathways that will support non-motorized travel and recreation opportunities for Delawareans and visitors.
The Delaware General Assembly approved $10.25 million for DelDOT to make “Bike and Pedestrian Improvements”

2 comments:

Frankie said...

Thanks for posting. That plus the $7M allocated last year brings it to $20M in a year's time.

Most exciting at this time is the Groundbreaking on 7/9 for a cross state pathway system along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, of which $2M was allocated for maintenance (the construction itself was covered through earmarks set aside by former Rep. Mike Castle, leaving the remaining $5M for other projects). Under contruction now is Newark DE to Landenburg PA, and Old New Castle DE to Wilmington DE. We are also actively completing the off-road alignment for the East Coast Greenway. Check 'em all out at: http://trails.delaware.gov/

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