FENWICK ISLAND – Officials have agreed to continue discussions on a new bike event to celebrate the launch of Fenwick Island Police Department’s bicycle patrol.
Mayor Natalie Magdeburger told members of the Fenwick Island Pedestrian Safety Committee that the Fenwick Island Police Department recently received grant funding to launch a bicycle patrol in town next year. To celebrate its launch, she told members she was seeking volunteers to organize a bike ride that would showcase the town’s bike safety initiatives.
“The idea is to highlight bicycle safety in town by bringing a whole bunch of bicycles into town and use it as a kickoff,” she explained.
Magdeburger said Fenwick Island Police Chief Michael Morrissey was moving forward in forming a bicycle patrol after learning the town had received grant money that would pay for the program. She said she had approached the chief about holding a bike event in conjunction with its launch.
“He was very excited about it …,” she told the committee. “It would require some work and some planning to put together. So I put that out there as a new idea.”
Magdeburger suggested a bike ride from the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to the Indian River Inlet and back. Magdeburger proposed sponsorship opportunities for local businesses and partnerships with the Friends of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse and the local bike shop, to name a few. She said the bike ride could attract visitors and support Fenwick Island businesses.
“I think businesses would love to have people come into town …,” she said. “After their ride, they could stop at various locations and look around.”
When asked about the logistics of a bike ride, Magdeburger said it could be held at the beginning of June, at the start of the summer season. She noted the event could be staffed with volunteers and officers that are part of the bike patrol. She noted the bike patrol grant would cover overtime.
“The bike patrol would primarily be run through overtime, funded by grants,” she explained.
After further discussion, Magdeburger agreed to reach out to members of the beach and business committees, as well as avid bicycle enthusiasts within the community. She said she was seeking a volunteer group that was willing to plan the event.
“We’ll put that on the agenda for the next meeting to follow up,” said Councilman Ed Bishop.
The town’s bike patrol is one of many ongoing efforts to address bike and pedestrian safety along Route 1. Earlier this year, for example, the town installed new sidewalks along five bayside blocks of Coastal Highway. The town has also had ongoing discussions about crosswalks and side street traffic and its impacts on bicyclists and pedestrians.