[B' Spokes: This is filed under News you will not see in Maryland. I would also like to point out State Law:
§ 2-604.(c) Duties of Director. -- To carry out the purposes of this subtitle, the Director shall: (3) Initiate a program of systematic identification of and planning for projects related to bicycle and pedestrian transportation that qualify for funds under Federal Highway Administration guidelines;
This does NOT say the state is allowed to make up extra rules that make accesses to federal funds for bike/ped projects really really hard. This does NOT say ONLY trails can qualify for bicycle transportation. This does NOT say the director can completely ignore this law while bicycle and pedestrian crashes/fatalities are on the rise and our bike modal share is way below normal. ]
from Bike Delaware by James Wilson, Executive Director
In September of 2010, Bike Delaware began a campaign to increase state funding for walking and bicycling. Nine months later in June of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly voted $5 million in new dedicated funding for bicycling in Delaware for FY2012, more money than the state has ever allocated before.
To paraphrase Delaware's former senior Senator, "this is a big deal!"
We at Bike Delaware owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our coalition allies, including Delaware Greenways, the Delaware Bicycle Council and, especially, Nemours Health and Prevention Services; and to the co-sponsors of "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware", especially its prime sponsors Senator Catherine Cloutier, Representative Deborah Hudson and Representative David Wilson.
We'd also like to salute the two truly indispensable individuals whose visionary leadership made this revolution for bicycling happen: Robert Venables and Jack Markell. Senator Venables is the author of "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware" and secured its unanimous passage in the General Assembly in May. And Governor Markell - the only governor to ever speak at a National Bike Summit - seized the opportunity that Senator Venables and the General Assembly offered. In other words, Bob Venables loaded the bases. And Jack Markell hit a grand slam.
June 23, 2011 - Governor Markell endorses "Walkable, Bikeable Delaware"
One of the reasons that Friday's vote is a big deal is that these state funds can be used to leverage federal matching funds at a ratio of 4:1 [In Maryland the made up rule is a ratio of 1:1.5 , "to help the money go farther." Complete opposite of the assertion in this article.]. If we are able to leverage the entire $5 million (a big if, but we are going to try), this would mean not $5 million, but $25 million for bicycling in Delaware. [Meanwhile back in Maryland we have $31 million in unspent federal money that should have been spent on bike/ped projects but the money is just not going out the door year after year with no reasonable explanation given.]
We are enormously proud of our state, impressed by its visionary leadership and optimistic about Delaware's future. We can't wait to see what happens next.
James Wilson, Executive Director