Wicomico County on behalf of The Salisbury-Wicomico Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWMPO) is preparing a Bicycle Network Master Plan for the southwest portion of Sussex County, Delaware including the municipalities of Delmar, Laurel, Blades, and Seaford. The goal of the Master Plan is to delineate a proposed regional bicycle network to enhance existing bike routes in the study area, as well as to provide locally elected officials and DelDOT with information to make informed policy and capital programming considerations. This study effort is evaluating community visions and relevant plans, including, but not limited to locally adopted Comprehensive Plans and the Department of Transportation’s Plans to ensure consistency with existing and proposed bike routes in the study area. The Plan, when complete, will include existing and proposed route delineations, planning-level cost estimates, policy recommendations, and funding resources. Routes will be delineated on GIS mapping and will be classified by facility types, such as an off-road multi-use path or protected shoulder to name a few. The mapping will be available to the study area community for use in planning origins, destinations, and routes to travel.
The Project Team includes members of Wicomico County; Century Engineering; DelDOT; representatives from Seaford, Blades, Laurel, and Delmar; and a Bicycle Advisory Committee. Representatives from the Bicycle Advisory Committee include the President of Sussex Cyclists, Sussex County Planning and Zoning, Office of State Planning, Salisbury University, Town of Laurel, DNRED, and DelDOT. The Bicycle Advisory Committee provides overall guidance and feedback throughout the study and assists in advertising the various events of the Study, including our upcoming Community Workshop #2 on September 16, 2023, from 11-3 at the Broad Creek Bike & Brews Event at Laurel Elementary School (815 S Central Ave, Laurel, DE).
The Study is currently in the recommendations phase. At the onset of the Study, the Project Team collected existing conditions. This included documenting existing routes and soliciting input from the study area. The community was invited to a community workshop held on March 16, 2023, where the Project Team led various exercises including a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, prepared an online map where the community was able to submit origin, destination, preferred routes, and requested amenities throughout the Study Area. The community also identified barriers and challenges as part of this effort. The Project Team analyzed this information. A group bike ride was coordinated, and Project Team members traveled prospective routes throughout Seaford, Blades, Laurel, and Delmar. An overall map with recommendations has been developed and is currently being prepared for the community to review and comment on.