Newark to Wilmington Trail Study. New Castle County, Delaware.
Wilmington and Newark, two of Delaware’s largest cities, are only about 12 miles apart. However, there is no low-stress cycling and walking route between the two communities. Working with the Delaware Department of Transportation, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Wilmington Area Planning Council, and advocacy groups, WRA performed a GIS analysis of publicly-owned land, rights of way, and easements throughout northern New Castle County. Dozens of miles of potential trail routes identified through that analysis were reviewed in the field to determine their feasibility. Hundreds of public comments received on those routes were used to guide the process. That public input was combined with connectivity metrics and relative ease of implementation to prioritize routes for implementation funding.
Prioritizing low-stress connections gives people more opportunities to walk and bike, so WRA focused on opportunities for wide, relatively flat shared use paths to make connections to local destinations, as well as upgrades to a few low-volume, low-speed neighborhood streets.
Technical analysis and stakeholder outreach were combined with great success to result in sound recommendations that enjoy public support. Interagency coordination ensured that trail segments will be built not only by the public sector, but as part of developer agreements.