Since 2005, advocates has been working to make the Ben Franklin Bridge more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2012, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) agreed to fund the design of a ramp.
The people of Camden County will have a chance to have input on the future of multi-use trails in the county on October 25th.
The Camden County Bicycling and Multi-Use Trails Master Plan will guide the implementation of multi-use trails and on-road bicycle facilities in Camden County. The proposed routes will connect county residents to greenways and trails, as well as enhance opportunities to walk or bike to schools, parks, shops, and employment centers. The final plan should also better define the county's portion of the The Circuit regional trails plan.
The public can bring forward suggestions for the countywide plan during a public listening session on October 25th at 6PM in the Camden County Boathouse, 7050 N. Park Drive, Pennsauken, NJ. If you plan to attend please RSVP to Jane Meconi - . Bring your ideas on how to make Camden County a more bicycle-friendly community.
The plan is being developed in four phases. Phases I and II have been completed; work on Phases III and IV of this project is being done concurrently. When entirely completed, all four parts will be combined into a county-wide plan sometime next year. Before presenting the finished document to the Camden County Board of Freeholders for potential adoption, citizens will have an opportunity to comment on the plan in its entirety via an online mapping application.
To get a general idea of the work that has already been done on the plan, take a look at the Phase II draft.
At a Finance Committee meeting this morning, the Delaware River Port Authority approved $350,000 to design a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly ramp for the Camden end (south side) of the Ben Franklin Bridge. The ramp will replace an existing three-story set of stairs.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Tri-State Alliance have been lobbying DRPA to build this ramp for some time. The Bicycle Coalition's blog has more information about the decision and the lobbying efforts that led to it.
Beginning December 27, 2011, the south walkway on the Ben Franklin Bridge is closed for bridge repair work. Bicyclists and pedestrians looking to cross the bridge can use the north walkway, which is open from 6:00 am - 8:00 pm daily.
Those using the north walkway should be advised the Fifth Street pedestrian tunnel is closed in Camden. Alternates include the Sixth Street pedestrian tunnel or the Third Street underbridge sidewalk.