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TIGER Projects Completed In Camden - Now What?

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Camden County Public Works is putting the finishing touches on the Pearl Street Connector in Camden, creating a gateway from the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway and the Rutgers Campus to the Wiggins Waterfront Promenade. Pearl St is the last of three TIGER projects in Camden which included bike lanes and streetscape improvements on the Camden GreenWay segments of Martin Luther King Drive and Pine St.

Pearl St is the highest visibility project since it connects two existing segments of the Circuit. Pearl St features new lighting, sharrows bike racks, four way stop signs, marked crosswalks and curb extensions. Navigational pedestrian signage similar to the Center City District sign system have also been put in place.

Ribbon Cutting?

Camden County Public Works has done an admirable job on all three projects and the County should celebrate their achievement. The Circuit Coalition is currently working to convince Camden County officials to stage a ribbon cutting for the Camden GreenWay projects, perhaps at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge. In contrast Pennsylvania ribbon cuttings are almost becoming routine, with Mayor Nutter using the giant scissors on 3 Circuit Trail projects and in the fall another event will be held with the opening of the Port Richmond Trail

Complete Streets Policy

The other exciting news for Camden is the adoption of a complete streets policy by City Council resolution in early June. Many thanks to the Camden Green Team which worked hard to create the language and recommend adoption of a policy. Camden is the 58th municipality in New Jersey to adopt a policy and the second in Camden County.

What's Next For Camden?

The State Street Bridge project is nearing completion. The original historic bridge is being replaced by a new structure, however the old bridge is being preserved for bicycle and pedestrian use and in the future it could connect the Cooper River Trail with the proposed southern end of the Delaware River Heritage Trail at the Kroc Center in the Cramer Hill section of the City.

An existing park and trail that was never officially opened is Cooper River Park West or Gateway Park. Adjacent to the Admiral Wilson Blvd is in the process of an ownership transfer from the Delaware River Port Authority to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. The trail in Cooper River Park west is a key component of the Cooper River Trail which when completed will improve and extend the trail from the Ben Franklin Bridge to Haddonfield. If you are interested in updates to the status of the park then "Like" The Friends of Cooper River Park West  Facebook Page.

Finally design work on the Ben Franklin Bridge ramp continues. We are expecting a vote in the coming weeks for the final design of the ramp. The Circuit Coalition's prefers Alternative 2 which is a straight down ramp that will also widen a narrow section of the bridge walkway. Watch this blog for an upcoming campaign to endorse the straight down ramp in the coming days.

Camden Quietly Unleashes Its TIGER

There was no golden shovel groundbreaking but a sign on Pearl Street and a few holes in the ground next to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden indicates that another TIGER project is underway.

On Pearl St next to the Ben Franklin Bridge
The 5.6 Million dollar project will include bikeway markings (bike lanes or sharrows), sidewalks and lighting on Pearl St, Pine Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Meanwhile an adjacent project on Martin Luther King Blvd includes Camden's first bike lanes. The short two block bike lane is between 7th St and Broadway near Cooper Hospital and the Walter Rand Transportation Center. The TIGER project will build bike lanes from the Camden Waterfront to 5th St, leaving a one block gap between 5th and Broadway.

MLK Blvd at Broadway
Port Richmond Trail Alignment at the Tioga Marine Terminal
In other TIGER news the Port Richmond Trail has been put out for bid with construction slated to begin in late summer or early fall. The project follows Allegheny and Delaware Avenues next to the Tioga Marine Terminal and will be part of the East Coast Greenway. This only leaves the complex Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk project on the drawing board.