A plan to make Dover a safer place for those who like to get around the city by biking or walking cleared another hurdle Tuesday night.
A second and final workshop on a draft bicycle/pedestrian plan was held at the Pitts Recreation Center in Schutte Park, where the public was invited to review and comment on the proposal. Members of Dover City Council’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Subcommittee also were on hand to answer questions and review a series of maps that lay out the draft plan.
About two dozen people came to look at the proposal during the three-hour session, Dover Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman Carolyn Courtney said.
“We got some really good feedback,” she said. “It was a very positive situation.”
One visitor left a note that simply said, “Looks good, please continue.”
The public workshops are an important part of the process, subcommittee member David Moses said.
“This community input gives us guidance and is an important part of the process,” he said.
Revising Dover’s bicycle/pedestrian plan, which hasn’t been updated since 1997, is a joint effort between the city, the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), MPO spokeswoman Kate Layton said.
“Think about all the changes that have taken place in Dover since then,” Layton said. “The subcommittee decided it was high time to take a look at where things are in terms of what the city looks like right now.”
The draft has several proposals to heighten awareness about cycling and walking safety, including driver education programs and safety workshops, evaluating how many people ride bikes along major roadways and bike trails, and plans to encourage people to ride their bikes, such as taking part in the annual Amish Country Bike Tour.
The plan also calls for capital improvements, such as widening some roads and providing sidewalks in areas of west Dover – projects that will require funding from either the city or DelDOT.
Dover has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists, which awarded the city an honorable mention as a bike-friendly community. The state, meanwhile, netted a fourth-place ranking in the league’s 2014 list of bicycle-friendly states.
The newest addition of a bike/pedestrian pathway near the Public Archives opened in December and will be part of what is planned as a 14-mile loop around the city.
Once the bike/pedestrian subcommittee approves a final draft plan, the proposal will be reviewed by the city’s Legislative, Finance and Administration Committee before moving on to the full Dover City Council.
That process is expected to be complete sometime this summer.