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Monday, November 20 2017 @ 12:22 AM UTC

Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act

Biking ElsewhereVia email

Just a few minutes ago, Delaware's state legislature passed, and sent to the Governor, the "Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act" which makes a number of changes to Delaware's Rules of the Road including, and especially, creating the "Delaware Yield" exception in state law permitting safe yielding by cyclists at stop signs.

Delaware becomes the first state in 35 years to figure out how to duplicate Idaho's 1982 passage of the "Idaho Stop".

The Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act also defines bicycle traffic signals in state code; prohibits honking at cyclists; and requires motorists to change lanes when passing when travel lanes are too narrow for side-by-side sharing (making "Three Foot" passing a requirement only in the special case of wide lanes). "As close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway" (the dreaded "AFRAP") also disappears from state code (replaced by " far enough to the right as judged safe by the operator to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless the bicycle operator determines that other conditions make it unsafe to do so") and, again, only as a special case for wide lanes.

Delaware is distinctive for a number of unusual advocacy wins over the last 6 years:

2011: Dedicated State Funding For Bicycling Beyond Transportation Alternatives ("Walkable Bikeable Delaware")
As I type this, there are huge cranes in the river just south of Wilmington building part of Delaware's largest-ever cycling project: ~$20 million undertaking to complete the "Wilmington-New Castle Greenway", a 7-mile paved bikeway between our largest city (Wilmington) and our colonial capitol (New Castle). This is only the most spectacular example of the state's radically increased funding for cycling since the passage of Walkable Bikeable Delaware in 2011.

2013: Goodbye "Share The Road"
Academic research has revealed that "Share The Road" just doesn't work. Delaware was the first state to get rid of this sign (and still is only one of two).

2016: Bicycle-Friendly Development Law ("Bikes+Transit")
Walkable, bikeable, transit-served, mixed-use, and entrepreneurial communities advance multiple priorities: public health, affordable housing, ageing in place, and reduced air pollution. Delaware's "Complete Communities" law, passed in 2016, created a mechanism for state and local governments to align these priorities and to jointly enable the development of bicycle-friendly communities.

2017: "Delaware Yield"
Delaware is the first state since Idaho in 1982 to permit safe yielding by cyclists at stop signs.

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