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Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit Recap

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Thursday, May 2nd, the third day of the Delaware event: the 2019 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit!

Providing the program for the final day of the Dutch Cycling Embassy's Delaware program, Bike Delaware hosted for the eighth consecutive year in a large tent on the lawn of Legislative Hall—the State Capitol building—the annual event, that provides an important opportunity for advocates, consultants, public servants, and elected officials to gather and share their ideas and enthusiasm for a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly state.

The theme of this year’s summit was “Dutch Ideas for Delaware”, and the contingent of international experts drew a great deal of attention, attracting a record 200 registrants.

After a brief introduction by Bike Delaware Executive Director James Wilson, two local politicians took the stage to welcome participants—State Senator Elizabeth Lockman and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer—who both emphatically reaffirmed their commitment to providing their constituents with more active transportation options.

Then it was the turn of the overseas visitors, as the Dutch Cycling Embassy’s Chris Bruntlett provided an overview of how the Netherlands became the world’s preeminent cycling nation, while Royal HaskoningDHV's Sjors van Duren explained the process of building cycle highways involving a variety of stakeholders, funding partners, and technical challenges.

After a short break, the Province of Utrecht's Eric van Dijk discussed the role of government in developing policy that would ultimately get more people cycling. And then following lunch, Royal HaskoningDHV's Wim van der Wijk presented the key elements of safe cycling to the crowd, highlighting international best practices for designing bicycle infrastructure.

The event wrapped up with a lengthy and fascinating panel discussion featuring all four Dutch guests, along with Professor Peter Furth of Northeastern University, and moderator Mark Luszcz, the Chief Traffic Engineer for the Delaware Department of Transportation.

At a post-summit reception on a patio across from the Delaware Governor’s Mansion, participants reflected on three incredibly informative and inspiring days that had just taken place, and the optimism and energy the Dutch visitors provided everyone in attendance. We look forward to seeing the fruits of this labour in the coming weeks, months, and years!

For a full photo gallery of the 2019 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, please click here.

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