When it comes to defending cyclists around the Greater Philadelphia region, Stuart Leon is the go-to guy. Stuart has been in bicycle crash law for nearly 30 years and works exclusively for bicyclists. When he’s not in the court room defending his clients, you can find him cycling on the Schuylkill River Trail with his wife and daughter. Here’s what Stuart had to say about his involvement with the Circuit Trails and bicycle safety:
Can you describe your connection to the Circuit Trails?
I've been riding from the Art Museum to Manayunk and Conshohocken since the late 1980's. I first learned about the Circuit trails through the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and have been a fan ever since!
What is your favorite trail?
I was overjoyed when the Schuylkill River Trail opened from Locust Street in Center City connecting me directly to Kelly Drive. I use that trail recreationally and for commuting every week – that’s probably my favorite. I value the safe and easy access to the trail at Kelly Drive instead of working my way over to and up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the streets.
Are you a part of any cyclist groups?
I belong to the Philadelphia Bicycle Messenger Association. I attended the Manayunk Bridge opening with my cyclist group and am looking forward to the exciting kick-off event on April 15!
Can you discuss primary threats to bicycle safety?
As a lawyer working only for bicycle accident and crash victims, I see the worst case scenarios. The primary threats to a bicyclist's safety are the following:
Where does your passion for the Circuit stem from?
I love the Circuit Trails because they are designed for the commuter and provide a safe path to many parts of the city and suburbs.
Photo Credit: Suart Leon
It’s been a great year for trail developments in Philadelphia! The City of Philadelphia released the 2015 Philadelphia Trail Plan Update, which reflects the work in the past year of the Philadelphia Trail Committee and non-profit trail development partners.
As we move on to 2016, let’s take a look at last year’s notable accomplishments:
Additionally, several notable projects were completed on the Circuit, including the Manayunk Bridge Trail that links bicyclists and pedestrians between Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties and the extension of North Delaware Avenue from Lewis Street to Orthodox Street in Bridesburg.
Lastly, let’s talk trail funding. The City of Philadelphia and trail development partners secured more than $14.5 million in state, federal and local funding for construction, design and planning studies for trail projects in 2015.
Click to read the full report: http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/plans/PDF/PhilaTrailPlan_2015Update.pdf.
We are looking forward to our continued Circuit Trails partnerships in 2016!
Written By: Steve Taylor
Take a ride on The Circuit and you could end up exploring a new trail, crossing a bridge into another town and having a picnic along a river. Or you might end up at work. Fortunately, in the latter case, the trip has the potential to make your commute—and your workday—much better.
Caitlin Youngster commutes by bike from her home in Center City Philadelphia to the architecture firm where she works in Conshohocken. “My commute is just under 15 miles each way and almost all of it is on the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT). As someone who grew up in suburban Florida, it is incredible to me that I can work 15 miles away from where I live and I still don’t own a car.
“If the Schuylkill River Trail didn’t exist, I don’t think I would bike to work. Without the SRT, the ride would involve big hills, busy roads and a commute that would be much different from the serene and stress-free ride that I enjoy now.”
Howard Hess uses several Circuit trails to commute from his home to his workplace, Johnson Matthey in Audubon. “My current commute is 14 miles each way. I live about a quarter mile from the Perkiomen Trail. My route takes me on the Perkiomen, the SRT and the Audubon Loop, then through a housing development and a few back roads. Roughly 11 of those 14 miles are via Circuit trails.
“I really enjoy the way I come into work fully awake and exhilarated after my ride. I can spend the time I’m riding planning out my day, thinking about how I may approach some of the challenges in work.”
James Rebarchak also uses the Perkiomen Trail and the SRT on his commute to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s office in Norristown. Like Johnson Matthey, the DEP office supports bike commuting and participated in the National Bike Challenge this year. “This past bike season we had 19 employees who biked during the challenge. We logged 1062 days riding and 22,260.5 miles. We have a couple very dedicated riders who live along or near the SRT who try to commute as often as possible. One employee biked 152 out of 153 days during the 2015 Bike Challenge. An employee who lives in Reading would drive down to Lower Perkiomen Valley Park and then bike in from there.
“This past year our office received the League of American Bicyclists’ Silver designation as a Bike Friendly Business (BFB). We were excited about receiving this designation and are looking to grow the number of employees who will commute by bicycle. As part of the BFB program, we updated directions to our office to remind visitors that we are located along the SRT, and with advance notice we can arrange for secure bike parking for them.”
James takes advantage of his office’s location on the SRT for the commute home, and he also makes use of another Circuit trail. “I’ll extend the ride in Graterford when I take the Skippack Trail into Skippack before getting on the roads to Harleysville.”
Howard belives that, “commuting by bike is something that many people can do. It requires some planning, preparation and flexibility, but once you’ve got a system down, it is a very enjoyable way to commute. [At Johnson Matthey] we’ve got a few that have added it to their routine after talking through the idea with experienced riders.”
Like James, Caitlin also likes to vary or extend her route on the way home. “I think the best part of The Circuit is the way it connects places. Sometimes I will jump off the trail at Shawmont and cut over to Forbidden Drive, my favorite place in Philadelphia. I would often leave the trail at Green Lane in Manayunk and ride along the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. I’m incredibly excited about the opening of the Manayunk Bridge, which makes this portion of the ride infinitely better!”
Photo Credit: Photo 1 Caitlin Youngster; Photo 2 James Rebarchak; Photo 3 Caitlin Youngster; Photo 4 James Rebarchak
A trip on The Circuit is always better when it includes a trailside snack or drink.
A Pennsylvania and New Jersey loop on the Delaware Canal Towpath and the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail might include stops at the Point Pleasant Village Store, the Bridge Cafe in Frenchtown or one of the coffee shops in Lambertville within a block from the trail, like Rojo’s.
Then there are some destinations that exist because of a trail. They were conceived by trail users and advocates and designed to meet the needs of those who would start, end or take a break from their trips there.
Ken Fields, owner of Outbound Station, has ridden on the Schuylkill River Trail for over 20 years. While biking through Conshohocken, he would often stop at an antique store in the old train station sitting on a hill above the trail.
When the owners decided to close their antique business and lease the property for another use, Ken immediately saw the potential. He knew that he wasn’t the only one who would like a place to warm up with a coffee on a cold morning or to share a meal outside on a sunny afternoon.
Outbound Station features salads and sandwiches assembled in the full kitchen, an assortment of local pastries, and locally roasted La Colombe coffee. They make their own soups as well as their chicken salad and egg salad.
Looking at the cycling posters on the wall, a large selection of energy bars and the floor pump and tool kit in a corner by the coffee station, it’s obvious that a cyclist is the owner. Ken doesn’t require a purchase to fill up a water bottle or to use the restroom or the tools.
For Ken, being situated on the trail is great and being on a popular route is even better. “We're eight and one-half miles to Valley Forge and 12 miles to the Art Museum. We're roughly that center point where people can start their ride here with plenty of parking on the weekends or use us as a meet point or a mid-point.”
While Outbound Station serves as a waypoint on The Circuit, the Cynwyd Station Cafe and Tea Room is a gateway. Owner Sadie Francis notes that, “When you come to us from the trail, we’re the entrance to Lower Merion Township. When you come to us from Lower Merion, we’re the entrance to the regional trail network.”
Sadie became involved with the development of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in 2008. Along the way, her expertise in green building was called upon to help plan the reuse of the 1890 Pennsylvania Railroad station that overlooks the trailhead.
“What makes us so special is the entire business is built around the location. Normally when you start a business, it’s the other way around.” Sadie saw the need for a community space for informal gathering and events. She also “asked people what they want, and everyone said ice cream!” So, she sought out a local source and found Jenny and Frank’s Artisan Gelato.
Like everything on the menu, the gelato is made from ingredients available in 1890. For even more of a 19th Century feel, have a phosphate soda with your ice cream sandwich. Less chilly selections include soups and grilled nut butter sandwiches. The well-curated tea menu is complemented by fair trade coffee, hot chocolate and hot lemonade. Everything is prepared and served without the use of plastic.
With the opening of the Manayunk Bridge, a new Circuit segment linking Philadelphia and Lower Merion over the Schuylkill River, Sadie is excited that the Tea Room’s role and that of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail as connectors will grow.
Hundreds of community members, trail advocates and officials convened in the middle of the Manayunk Bridge on Friday to witness a historic moment – the opening of the iconic Manayunk Bridge as a bike-ped bridge.
The new 0.6 Manayunk Bridge Trail connects Lower Merion Township and Philadelphia high above the river and the highway, creating a key link in the Circuit Trails that connects the Cynwyd Heritage Trail with Main Street in Manayunk and the Schuylkill River Trail.
When speaking about the first exclusively pedestrian and cyclists bridge over the Schuylkill River, Jorge Brito of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said, “the saying ‘never say never’ comes to mind. Projects like this make the city of Philadelphia a landmark.”
Officials, including Mayor Michael Nutter and Elizabeth Rogan gave remarks at the ribbon cutting and reflected on the impact of the project on the region and how it serves as a symbol of the power of collaboration. Mayor Nutter commented “the $5.76 million project revitalized an almost-forgotten bridge and transformed it into a functioning public space that expands and encourages recreational use.”
The story of the Manayunk Bridge Trail is a story of willpower and collaboration. To really appreciate this historic day, one needs to know how we got to this point:
1918 – Manayunk Bridge was built by the Schuylkill Valley Division of Pennsylvania Railroad.
1976 – Bridge was acquired by SEPTA.
1986 – Bridge was closed due to low ridership on the Ivy Ridge Line.
2008-2010 – SEPTA removed the tracks on rail bed and community groups held clean ups, to raise public awareness about restoring the rail line.
Commissioners of Lower Merion Township leased the rail bed from SEPTA and raised the funds to construct the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, which opened in late October 2011.
2008-2009 – The Manayunk Bridge became one of the nine identified gaps in the Complete the Trail campaign that the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia launched with the Manayunk Development Corporation and other organizations.
2010 – The bridge was included in a large proposal written for six counties by the Coalition and Pennsylvania Environmental Council that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for a grant to build 17 trail segments.
The William Penn Foundation and Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) awarded grants to the Manayunk Development Corporation to conduct a feasibility study of the Manayunk Bridge and Ivy Ridge Trail. These two grants brought all of the stakeholders together to make the project possible.
Late 2010 – The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities applied for a $1.3 million grant from PennDOT’s Pennsylvania Community and Transportation Initiative for the Bridge, allowing consultants to start designing the bridge trail.
October 25, 2011 – Official opening of Lower Merion Township’s adjacent Cynwyd Heritage Trail.
October 28, 2014 – Officials and residents gathered for the groundbreaking of the Manayunk Bridge Trail.
October 30, 2015 – Opening of the Manayunk Bridge.
The project, which broke ground last fall, is a visible reminder of the power of a strong vision and collaboration. As Elizabeth Rogan said, “the achievement is a testament to the leadership of individuals and the power of partnership.”
Alas, one more critical piece of the Circuit puzzle is complete, with 450 miles to go to reach 750 miles of interconnected trails in the nine-county region. The next bike-ped bridge over the Schuylkill will not be far behind.
Barry Seymour, executive director of the Delaware Valley Reginal Planning Commission, put it best when he said the bridge will make us “healthy, wealthy and wise.” So, get out #onthecircuit and use the trail!
For the best route to bicycle to the Manayunk Bridge Trail, explore the Google Map here
The long-awaited event is finally here! The Manayunk Bridge is opening tomorrow after 30 years, and whether you’re a walker, runner, cyclist, or just want to enjoy the city from a new vantage point, join us at 11:00am in the middle of the Manayunk Bridge for the ribbon cutting and ceremony #onthecircuit! For cyclists, the Bicycle Coalition staff will lead a ride from Cynwyd Station to the Manayunk Bridge opening ceremony at 10:00am tomorrow.
The new Circuit Trail over the historic Manayunk Bridge connects the Cynwyd Heritage Trail with Main Street in Manayunk and the Schuylkill River Trail. The new trail is the first pedestrian and cyclist-only bridge over the Schuylkill River, and opens an inactive railroad asset for public use providing spectacular views of the Schuylkill River valley.
Hope to see you there!
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 30 at 11:00am
*Note: There ceremony will take place on the county line in the center of the bridge. Please arrive early to reach the location prior to the start of the event.
WHERE: Middle of the Manayunk Bridge; Parking is at church parking lot at Baker and DuPont
Yesterday, Philadelphia was awarded a $10 million TIGER grant with $3 million allocated to converting an abandoned swing rail bridge over the Schuylkill River into a new Circuit Trail. Once completed, the Swing Bridge Trail will connect the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail to the Bartram’s Mile Trail, which is currently under construction. This new Circuit Trail will close a critical gap in the Schuylkill River Trail’s (SRT) southward extension.
This exciting news comes following the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) submission of a proposal covering three projects. In addition to the swing bridge project, the other two projects receiving funding are Complete Street projects, including improvements to American Street in Kensington and West Westmoreland Street that will result in new sidewalks, bike lanes and building a landscaped median to help storm water management.
We cannot begin to calculate the benefits of the last TIGER grant in 2014 for the Schuylkill Boardwalk that transformed the SRT and the Circuit Trail, brought national attention to trail development in Philadelphia and provided an exciting new trail asset for the community!
In less than a month, the Manayunk Bridge trail will open to great fanfare. This long awaited re-purposing of a SEPTA bridge (originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1902) is a fantastic achievement and testament to a wonderful collaboration among trail advocates and many agencies, jurisdictions and non-profits, including SEPTA, PennDOT, the City of Philadelphia (Parks and Recreation, Streets and Mayor's Office of Transportation & Utilities), Lower Merion Township Commissioners and Township Planning and Parks staff, Montgomery County Commissioners and Montgomery County Planning Commission, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the Circuit Coalition, in particular, the Manayunk Development Corportation and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. The trail was built with funds dedicated by PennDOT, Pennsylvania Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources, the City of Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Lower Merion Township and the William Penn Foundation. The trail was designed by Whitman Requardt & Associates.
Many people have asked about the status of the various trail segments that lead up to the Manayunk Bridge.
As one can see from the map above, the Manayunk Bridge is on the same rail bed as that of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail on the Lower Merion side, and the Ivy Ridge Trail on the Philadelphia side. It also provides a connection to city streets and Schuylkill River Canal bike path on the Philadelphia side. There are a number of trail segments on both sides of the Schuylkill River that lead to the Manayunk Bridge but gaps do exist. A summary of the status of these various trail segments is below:
The Ivy Ridge Trail lies along the same right of way as the Manayunk Bridge on the old Pennsylvania Railroad inactive rail line. When constructed, it will connect the Manayunk Bridge to the Ivy Ridge SEPTA station parking lot. A feasibility study was conducted by Whitman Requardt & Associates for the City of Philadelphia and Manayunk Development Corporation on this segment in 2014.
The Cynwyd Heritage Trail was completed in 2011 and is owned and maintained by Lower Merion Township.
The Cynwyd Spur is a small section that will connect the Cynwyd Heritage Trail to the Pencoyd Trail and Bridge under construction by O'Neill Properties. This trail has to traverse a steep grade from the Heritage Trail down to the Schuylkill River. Lower Merion Township sought and received funding from DVRPC's Regional Trail Fund and PA DCNR to conduct a feasibility study of this segment. The study is complete and going to be presented to LMT Commissioners in November 2015. Once that presentation is complete, the final copy of the feasibility study will be posted online.
The Pencoyd Bridge and Trail is being developed by O'Neill Properties as part of a residential development project that is currently under construction. Lower Merion Township required O'Neill Properties to rehabilitate the old Pencoyd Bridge and make it publicly accessible to all users (residents and the public). The Township also required that a trail be constructed in front of the development to connect the Pencoyd Bridge to the end of the O'Neill property to its north. The project is expected to be completed by May 2016.
The Wissahickon Gateway is probably one of the most challenging gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail. It was named among the Pennsylvania's top ten trail gaps. The trail segment exists between the East Falls and Manayunk sections of Philadelphia where the Fairmount Bikeway (AKA Schuylkill River Trail) narrows to a sidewalk and terminates on a busy arterial street. Bicyclists wishing to continue east or west along the trail must navigate a narrow bikeway, weave through passengers disembarking and embarking from SEPTA buses, and avoid cars entering and exiting from eleven (11) curb cuts along Ridge Avenue and Main Street. According to trail use statistics, trail advocates have found that while the Montgomery County stretch of trail enjoys 12,500 weekly users and the East Falls section 15,000 weekly users, the area between these two sections only sees 2,500 weekly users. This drop off is directly attributable to the gap at Ridge Avenue and the Wissahickon Creek.
An engineering anaylsis for the Wissahickon Gateway was completed in 2013. The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department considered both a "street-side" option (in green) and a "river-front" option (in yellow.) Either alternative requires building a new crossing over the Wissahickon Creek and weaving the trail between a PECO substation and SEPTA bus terminal. The cost of the street-side option is estimated at $2.2-2.5 M for approximately 2000’ of new trail.
SEPTA, PECO and a private property owner own the parcels between the Canoe Club driveway and the Pencoyd Bridge. Once the trail's right of way is obtained by the City of Philadelphia, closing this gap will be the last remaining step in linking 7 miles of trail to the east to Schuylkill Banks and 20 miles west to Phoenixville.
It’s the moment runners, cyclists and pedestrians have all been waiting for! The Manayunk Bridge will officially open as a pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting the Cynwyd Trail in Lower Merion to Manayunk and the Schuylkill River Trail on October 30. The bridge will serve as a key link in the Circuit Trails, a unique connection between the city and the suburbs, and a site for spectacular views of the river valley. Join us on October 30 at 11 a.m. to celebrate this major milestone and be one of the first people to cross the bridge. Be sure to join the Facebook event here for more information and updates.
Lots of dignitaries -- Congressman Chaka Fattah, Senator Vince Hughes, State Rep. Pam Delissio, Montco Commissioners Leslie Richards, Josh Shapiro and Bruce Castor; Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis, DCNR Deputy Secretary Flood, SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey.
Lots of smiles -
Lots of words about partnerships, colloborations, persistence and getting stuff done! We think Leslie Richards said it best...."This is the coolest project!"
A great day for the Circuit. More photos here!
Next to the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, the project that most trail enthusiasts are waiting for to kick off is the much anticipated construction of the trail over Manayunk Bridge. The contractor responsible for the Manayunk Bridge trail job, AP Construction, has been working since July (when the Notice to Proceed was issued by the Philadelphia Streets Department) on pre-construction tasks.
Before construction can begin, AP needs to remove contaminated soil, demolish a portion of bridge over the Norfolk Southern lilne and coordinate with SEPTA on fencing and other matters. They are making progress on all three fronts. Once complete, with those logistics, they can start regular construction.
AP has opened their field office on Green Lane.
Earlier this week, the City of Philadelphia awarded a $4.1 million contract to A.P. Construction to build a multi-purpose trail on one of the Circuit’s hallmark segments: the Manayunk Bridge. This long-awaited project is finally moving into the construction phase. It will take six to eight weeks before construction actually begins and approximately one year for the project to be completed.
When complete, the Manayunk Bridge will be the first pedestrian/bicycle-only bridge crossing the Schuylkill River (Sullivan’s Bridge will join the crowd when it is completed in 2016). It will provide a much-needed connection between two riverfront communities (Lower Merion Township and Manayunk); open up an inactive railroad asset to the public and provide spectacular views of the Schuylkill River and Manayunk; and provide a new and important transportation option for students, employers and employees who live and work in LMT or Manayunk/Roxborough. Lastly, it will add considerable value to the Cynywd Heritage Trail and the Schuylkill River Trail by connecting them together. Ultimately, the trail will continue to the Ivy Ridge Station and, we hope, to Shawmont, where it will connect with the paved portion of the Schuylkill River Trail.
The project received funding from many sources: study and design funds were provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the William Penn Foundation, plus the Regional Trail Fund administered by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Capital funds were provided by the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program ($204,000); state/federal funding from the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative ($2,400,000), plus an additional $1,500,000 from PennDOT.
Many partners worked very hard to make this project possible. SEPTA, Lower Merion Township, Philadelphia Streets Department, Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and several non-profits including the William Penn Foundation, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Schuylkill Project, Manayunk Dev. Corp and Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The trail design was conducted by Whitman Requardt and Associates and overseen by the Schuylkill Project.
What started as an idea by some passionate residents of Lower Merion and Manayunk in the mid-2000s is in the final stages of become real. Lots of people have ideas, but it’s usually up to some industrious worker bees to get stuff done. We can’t wait to take our first steps and ride on the bridge. It will undoubtedly be spectacular!
- First published at http://bicyclecoalition.org/manayunk-bridge-construction-start-soon/#sthash.OaDHwRnt.dpuf
After several years of hard work among numerous regional, municipal, state and transit partners, the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT have advertised the construction job of building a trail on top of the Manayunk Bridge. WootWoot!
The new trail will connect the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Lower Merion over to the corner of Dupont and High Streets in Manayunk. A second phase will continue the trail to the Ivy Ridge Train Station.
The technical jargon is as follows:
The Manayunk Bridge Trail MPMS# 92413 has now been listed on the City of Philadelphia Office of Procurements list of Public Works Bidding Opportunities.
The listing indicates that the specifications will be available through Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Engineering and Construction Management System (ECMS) on 12/17/2013 and that the bid opening date is planned to be 1/16/2014. The City’s bid number is 3749ECMS.
On Thursday, September 26th, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Board approved 13 projects for funding from the final phase of the Regional Trail Program, which was created and funded by a $10 million grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The Regional Trail Program aims to provide funding for targeted, priority trail design, construction and planning projects that will promote a truly connected, regional network of multi-use trails (the Circuit) with Philadelphia and Camden as its hub.
Phase III of the program provided capital funding for trail design and construction projects. Approximately $4 million was available for Phase III grants. Individual grant awards are capped at $500,000 and all projects require a 20 percent match. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in March and 31 proposals were submitted by the deadline in mid-April. The proposals were evaluated by a Selection Committee composed of Foundation representatives, PennDOT and NJDOT, DVRPC staff, and regional trail funders and advocates.
Based on Committee review and subsequent follow-up, the following 13 projects were recommended for funding and approved on Thursday by the DVRPC Board.
Total grant request amount for all 13 Phase III projects is $3,988,608. The total match amount is $9,318,081 and the total cost of all the projects is $13,306,149.
Phase III represents the final amount of funding available from this program. Future funding depends on the DVRPC board. This is why the Circuit Coalition currently is running the Circuit Committment campaign, seeking a decision from the DVRPC Board to replenish the fund with $10 Milion over a three year period.
After two years of behind the scenes work on the part of many individuals and agencies, we are heartened to report that the Manayunk Bridge is on track for being advertised this summer, which means it should go to construction either late 2013 or early 2014. In the transportation world, a project of this scale and complication to go from start to finish in four years is rare. The Manayunk Bridge has been on a fast track to a rail-to-trail transformation.
A bit of recent history. The project kicked off in 2010 with planning grants from the state and the William Penn Foundation. After several public outreach meetings held in 2011, the bulk of 2012 was devoted to coming up with a design for the half mile trail across the Manayunk Bridge that protects the trail users, the Bridge itself, and the two active rail lines and highway that it spans across.
A working group of agencies and non-profits, coordinated by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, has been working with a team of consultants headed by Whitman, Requardt & Associates to complete the design and shepard the project through local, state and federal reviews.
This signature project will accomplish many things. It will re-open to the public an iconic piece of infrastructure that has been highly visible since 1918, but highly inaccessible since 1986. It will make a bicycle-pedestrian connection once again between Lower Merion Township to Manayunk, providing Manayunk's restaurants with a new source of customers who don't need a parking space and Lower Merion with access to a vibrant commercial corridor. St. Joe students will be able to ride to school from their Manayunk rentals and Lower Merion residents will be able to access transit stops in Philadelphia. Lastly, it will provide an important link between Lower Merion's Cynwyd Trail and the future Penncoyd Trail that O'Neill Properties is slated to build in the next few years, and the Schuylkill River Trail.
The City of Philadephia, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, SEPTA, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the William Penn Foundation have all contributed towards the planning, design and construction of the project. And the interest of Mayor Nutter, Montgomery County Commissioners, State Representative Pam DeLissio, and City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. have all made the project a priority. It represents a terrific example of multi-jurisdicational, public-private partnership. We can't wait for this ribbon cutting; less than two years away!
The Circuit in the news recently:
The following trail segments in the Circuit received grants: