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2013 Highlights of the Circuit


In 2013, the following trail segments were celebrated with ribbon cuttings:

  • Delaware River Trail in Port Richmond (Philly)
  • Central Delaware Riverfront - Penn Street Trail (Philly)
  • 58th Street Greenway (Philly)
  • Route 13 Passageway (Bucks)
  • SRT at Shawmont Avenue (Philly)
  • SRT in Bern Township (Berks)
  • Darby Creek Trail (Delaware County)
  • Lawrence Hopewell Trail (Mercer County)
  • Delaware River Heritage Trail (Burlington County)
  • Black Diamond Trail (Luzerne and Carbon Counties)
  • Camden Tiger Trails (Camden County)

There are at least 60 MILES OF TRAIL ARE IN PROGRESS.  In 2013, over $7.5 million in new funding was announced for Circuit trails. 

  • $4.0 million from DVRPC Phase 3 grants
  • $3.5 million from Pennsylvania DCNR and Commonwealth Financing Authority
  • $40,000 from New Jersey’s Recreational Trails Program

There are 407 MILES LEFT TO GO.  In June, the Circuit Coalition launched the Circuit Commitment campaign to secure $10 Million (to be spent over a three year period) to replenish DVRPC’s regional trail fund.

The Circuit Coalition held two Circuit Caucuses in June that were attended by over 100 trail enthusiasts.  Since then, the Coalition has garnered:

  • Resolutions of support from: Pitman and Wenonah New Jersey, and Phoenixville, East Bradford, Haverford and Chltenham Pennsylvania.
  • Letters of support from: O’Neill Properties, Neducsin Properties, Cadre Design, Brandywine Realty Trust, YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, Delaware County Transportation Management Agency.
  • 2000 + Circuit Supporters who either filled out postcards or signed the online petition.


  • Manayunk Bridge construction project was advertised and construction should start in 2014
  • Philadelphia adopted its first ever trail master plan
  • DVRPC’s Regional Trail Fund ($10 million) leveraged $12 million in additional funding.


  • Schuylkill River Wins River of the Year (ONLY IF YOU VOTE FOR IT before December 27th!!!)
  • Opening of the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and Manayunk Bridge, Chester Valley Trail 
  • Design of the Ben Franklin Bridge Ramp
  • Progress made on numerous trails throughout the nine county region
  • A dedicated investment in trails by the nine counties 

The’s blog and event pages have more detail on all of these highlights. 

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Manayunk Bridge Trail Construction Job is Advertised

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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.

Pennsylvania DCNR & CFA Announces $3.5 Million in Grants for Circuit Trails

Two announcements of grants for trails within the Circuit system were announced by PA's DCNR and the Commonwealth Financing Authority over the past several weeks.  Congratulations to all!

Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants for 2013

The following grants advance Circuit trails.


Jim Thorpe Borough, $365,000, further development of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail, work to include construction of approximately 0.9 miles of trail along the east bank of the Lehigh River from the future pedestrian trail bridge

Bucks & Phila

Pennsylvania Environmental Council - Pennsylvania Environmental Council, $100,000, prepare a Trail Stewardship Plan for a 4-mile section of the East Coast Greenway from the mouth of the Poquessing Creek to the mouth of the Neshaminy Creek in Bensalem Township and Philadelphia City, work to include a written report. Patrick Starr, 215-545-4570. 

Chester County, $35,000, prepare a feasibility study to determine the alignment of the Northern Struble Trail 
extending approximately 16 miles from the current terminus at Marsh Creek State Park in Upper Uwchlan 
Township through Wallace, West Nantmeal, and Honey Brook Townships to Honey Brook Borough, work to 
include a written report. Jake Michael, 610-344-6503.
Chester County, $240,000, further development of Exton Park in West Whiteland Township, work to include construction of parking facilities, picnic areas, sand volleyball court, pedestrian pathways (connections to Chester Valley and  Uwchlan Trail)
Montco - Upper Merion Township, $100,000, further development of the Schuylkill River West Trail, work to include 
construction of approximately 1.3 miles of trail and pedestrian bridge parallel to the Schuylkill River from 
Trooper Road in Valley Forge National Historic Park to Heuser Park, ADA access, landscaping, project sign, 
and other related site improvements. Dan Russell, 610-265-1071
Royersford Borough, $200,000, further development of the Riverfront Trail and Park, work to include 
construction of approximately 0.2 miles of trail parallel to the Schuylkill River from Riverfront Drive to Arch 
Street, parking lot, ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Michael A. 
Leonard, 610-948-3737. 
Philadelphia City, $275,000, further development of the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail, work to include design 
and construction of approximately 0.5 miles of trail along the Cobbs Creek Parkway from 70th Street to 
Woodland Avenue, ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Robert 
Armstrong, 215-683-0229.
Philadelphia City, $300,000, further development of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia City, work to 
include rehabilitation of an abandoned railroad swing bridge crossing the Schuylkill River and construction of 
approaches south of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge, ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related 
site improvements. Joseph R. Syrnick, 215-222-6030. 
Schuylkill River Development Corporation, $35,000, study the feasibility of extending the Schuylkill River Trail, 
on Schuylkill Banks, 0.8 miles from Bartram’s Garden along the west bank of the Schuylkill River to Passyunk 
Avenue in Philadelphia, work to include a written report. Joseph R. Syrnick, 215-222-6030. 
Bethlehem City, $500,000, further development of the South Bethlehem Greenway, work to include construction of approximately 0.2 miles of trail to connect the South Bethlehem Greenway to Saucon Park (narrows the gap between the Greenway and Saucon Valley 
Schuylkill River Greenway Association, $226,000, coordinate the development of the Schuylkill River Trail; 
Circuit Projects

Bensalem Township - $250,000 for the Bensalem Greenway (East Coast Greenway)

Righters Ferry Associates - $250,000 for the Pencoyd Bridge (Schuylkill River Trail)

Delaware River City Corporation - $250,000 for the Baxter Trail (East Coast Greenway)

Schuylkill River Developement Corporation - $225,000 for South to Christian St. Trail (Schuylkill River Trail)

Schuylkill River Development Corporation - $175,00 for Grays Ferry Crossing (Schuylkill River Trail)

Bucks County - $8,885 for the Lower Neshaminy Creek Greenway Trail Feasibility (East Coast Greenway)

Third Annual Cresheim Trail Walk

Saturday, December 14th, you are invited to join other trail enthusiasts for the 3rd Annual Cresheim Trail Walk.  Please meet at 10 AM at the Springfield Library rear parking lot and then set off to explore the Montgomery County portion of the proposed Cresheim trail in vehicles and on foot. We will stop at key points where the proposed Cresheim Trail crosses roads to get a sense of the full scope of the proposed trail.

You will come away with a better understanding of the potential of the Cresheim Trail. We will wrap up our ramble at 1 PM and encourage participants to join us at the Trolley Car Diner for lunch. For more information call Susan Dannenberg at 215-715-9159 or Charlie Karl at 215-233-2090. 

To See the Potential of New Jersey’s Cooper River Trail, Just Look Across The State Line

The Tri State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) recently posted an article suggesting that Cooper River Trail stewards look at the Schuylkill River Trail as a model for a first class bikeway in Camden County.

"Pick any day to visit the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia and you will see a fully-functioning commuter corridor — women and men bicycling and walking to work, while, across the river, motorists sit in miles of gridlock on the chronically jammed Schuylkill Expressway. Over a million people use the trail every year. But what makes this multi-use trail so attractive to commuters and different from other trails in the region? And what lessons can the Schuylkill River Trail offer for trail planners and builders across the state line in New Jersey..."

Read More on TSTC's Mobilizing The Region newsletter

Dec. 11th Ribbon Cutting Set for SRT segment in Bern Township

The Bern Township Supervisors and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area will cut the ribbon on a new section of trail Wednesday, December 11, 2013.The ribbon cutting ceremony will take at 2:00 p.m. near Washington Street where the trail ends at Herbine’s Lock, a canal remnant from the former Schuylkill Navigation System.

The 2,100-foot long, 10-foot wide, gravel multi-use trail follows the river edge stretching from a nine-acre proposed park site off Washington Street, south to Herbine’s Lock. It was constructed by the Bern Township road crew and paid for with a grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s (DVRPC) Recreational Trails Program.

The newly completed section is the first part of a 2.2-mile trail that will connect Bern and Ontelaunee Townships through Leesport Borough. When finished, it will consist of two off-road trail segments connected by an on-road piece.  

Next year a northern trail segment will be constructed along a former canal bed, stretching 1,843 feet from Belleman’s Church Road to Canal Street in Leesport. From Canal Street, signs will direct trail users to follow an on-road route that takes them to Wall Street, across the Schuylkill River along an existing bridge to South Schuylkill Avenue, and finally to Washington Street. There it will go off-road again along the recently completed section.

The new trail will eventually connect to the larger Schuylkill River Trail (SRT), along what has been recognized as a high-priority gap in the SRT—the 20-mile Reading-to-Hamburg section.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has created a signed, on-road route for cyclists wishing to continue along the trail from where it breaks off in Reading to where it picks up again in Hamburg. Plans call for constructing an off-road trail along that route as funds and resources become available. The new section represents one of the first off-road pieces of the Reading-to-Hamburg section.

When complete, the Schuylkill River Trail will total about 130 miles and stretch from Philadelphia to Pottsville. 

Tags: Leesport

Can New Jersey Plug Into “The Circuit” Trails? (NJ Bike and Walk Coalition)

The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition posted an article that looks at how New Jersey could use the lessons learned from the implementation of The Circuit to develop a Statewide multi-use trail network.
(The Circuit) connects to several planned and existing corridors in Central and Southern New Jersey. The East Coast Greenway will serve as the spine to link the Circuit to all of the northern counties.
To date, trails and paths in the state have not been planned in the context of connecting them together into a statewide system. The recommendations below are drawn from the NJ State Trails Plan (pdf) and lessons learned from developing The Circuit. Chapter 5 of the plan recognizes the vision of a statewide network  “New Jersey’s cities and towns are also connected through an extensive intercommunity network of trails, including both on-road bicycle facilities and off-road walking and biking trails. Many connecting trails have been established within linear greenways that link parks and natural areas throughout the state.” 
The story includes an interactive map that shows the major multi-use trails in the State, an embed of the State Trails Plan and goes on to offer recommendations to implement a statewide network

Pitman, NJ Passes Resolution To Support Regional Trails

At its November Borough Council meeting, Pitman, NJ became the fourth municipality and the eighth organization to pass a resolution supporting the Circuit. The resolution specifically encourages Gloucester County to allocate funds to support planning, design and construction of trails within the County. The Circuit Coalition greatly appreciates the Borough's strong support for the completion of a regional trail network. Thanks to John Fitzpatrick for sending us a copy of the Resolution and to the advocates in Gloucester County who helped make this happen.

D&L Towpath Repairs Continue South of Easton

Delaware Canal State Park contractors continue work on repairing the flood damaged canal prism (the berm that carries the towpath) with the hopes of the reopening a closed section of the D&L Trail in the Spring. This section of the towpath has been closed since the canal wall collapsed from flooding associated with Tropical Depression Lee in September 2011. For those that have been blurred by memories of Irene and Sandy, Lee was a storm that added to the inland flooding misery created by Hurricane Irene.

As of Late October work on the breach in Raubsville, Williams Township just north of the Bucks/Northampton County Line has been repaired and work on restoring the Towpath is now in progress. Other repair projects in Easton and near New Hope are also in progress.

The Delaware and Lehigh Canal towpath sections of the D&L are extremely vulnerable to flooding, we commend DCNR the D&L Trail Alliance and the Friends of the Delaware Canal's committment to preserving this historic transportation corridor. 

Planning Commission questions safety of trail crossing on-ramp

From the PlanPhilly Website. Published on November 19th. Story by Kellie Patrick Gates.

The PCPC doesn't mind cyclists using what will essentially be the sidewalk on the north side of Race Street from 2nd to the river. But commissioners are worried about a caution-light only crossing of the I-95 northbound on-ramp.

City planning commissioners are fine with the concept of cyclists and pedestrians sharing a to-be-built, 10-foot side path along the north side of Race Street between 2nd Street and Delaware Avenue.

What worries them is how, exactly, those pedestrians and cyclists will safely cross the north-bound on-ramp of I-95.

The proposed path – essentially a sidewalk - would be the north-side counterpoint to its already existing sister on the south side of Race Street. This section of the street, from 2nd Street to the river, is called the Race Street Connector, as its job is to better connect Old City to the waterfront at the Race Street Pier. It and other in-the-works connectors on key east-west streets are an important component of the city's plan to better tie waterfront neighborhoods to the river, and the Race Street and other connectors are also part of the city's trail network.

Read the full article on the PlanPhilly site.

PA Transportation Bill Key for the Circuit

PA Voting on Transportation Today - Speak Up For Biking, Walking, and Transit!

After more than a year of negotiation, stalling, and jockeying, the House Assembly is going to vote this week on a transportation bill, paving the way for the Senate to follow up and the Governor to sign a bill. The final product of this week's votes will determine if bicycling, walking, and public transit are part of Pennsylvania's future, or tossed out the back door like mopwater.
The PA House is expected to consider, as soon as this afternoon, an amendment to HB 106 sponsored by Representative Micozzie (R-163). This amendment will create a $2.3 billion transportation funding bill that repairs our bridges, provides for public transit statewide, and for the first time ever recognizes and funds bicycling and walking.
This bill is critical to the Circuit's success. If it passes, the Circuit has a chance to secure more funding for trails. 

It will be all too easy to strip bicycling and walking out of the bill as "frivolous expenditures nobody wants."House Assembly members need to hear from you that safe walking and biking are important. Tell your Representative to vote YES on Rep. Micozzie's amendment.

In the 21st century, transportation does not begin and end with highways. We need a comprehensive transportation bill that makes bicycling and walking in Pennsylvania safer and more accessible. Funding does that, and this is our best chance to get bicycling and walking respected and acknowledged in our state's transportation funding. The House may vote on Rep. Micozzie's amendment to HB106 as soon as this afternoon; e-mail or call your House Representative today and tell them to vote for the amendment!

Thank you for speaking up for biking and walking!

p.s If you want to call your legislator - use this handy site to find his/her contact information

DVRPC To Announce Funding For Trail Projects At Rutgers-Camden

Tomorrow November 13th the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), along with officials from Camden County, the City of Camden, and the Delaware River Port Authority will hold a news conference on
to announce the award of $4 million in grants for trail design and construction projects
in Greater Philadelphia, including a $400,000 grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities on
the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The grant is helping to fund a $3 to $4 million project to install a bicycle and pedestrian ramp at the base of the bridge in Camden. The grant is made possible through DVRPC’s Regional Trails Program. Funded by the William
Penn Foundation, the program has now awarded over $9 million for 42 trail design and constructionprojects throughout the nine-county region.

Featured Speakers:

Barry Seymour
Executive Director, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

The Honorable Louis Cappelli, Jr.
Freeholder Director, Camden County / DVRPC Board Member

John Matheussen
Chief Executive Officer, Delaware River Port Authority

The Honorable Dana Redd
Mayor, City of Camden

Helen Davis Picher
Interim President, William Penn Foundation

The Regional Trails Program provides funding for targeted, priority trail design,
construction, and planning projects that will promote a truly connected, regional
network of multi-use trails with Philadelphia and Camden as its hub. To date, $9.3
million has been awarded to plan, design, and build multi-use trails in the region. For
more details, visit

November 13th
2:30 PM
Emerge Plaza at Rutgers-Camden
N 5th and Penn St
Camden, NJ

Route 13 Passageway Ribbon Cutting

Route 13 Passageway Ribbon Cutting 
D&L Trail - Del. Canal Towpath at Tullytown 
145 Levittown Parkway, Levittown, PA

"The Circuit Coalition’ Asks For Funding To Continue Building Regional Trail Network (CBS3)

By Steve Tawa

November 10, 2013 4:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The William Penn Foundation’s $10-million grant to design and construct trails in the Philadelphia region has run its course. Now, advocates are looking to tap other resources to continue building out the network.

Dozens of non-profit groups that form ‘The Circuit Coalition’ are trying to make the case that the regional trail network is a worthy  investment. The just expired Penn Foundation grant funded 40 different projects.

The Circuit is their grand plan for a 750-mile regional trail network in the five county Philadelphia area and four more in South Jersey.

Sarah Clark Stuart is policy director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

She says, “we would like the board of the Delaware Valley regional planning commission to consider putting a very, very small portion – .2 percent – of their capital funds into this dedicated trail fund.”

The coalition is asking decision makers at the DVRPC to set aside about $3 million a year for regional trail development out of the $1.4-billion the Philadelphia region spends annually on highways and mass transit.

Regional Trail Network Taking Shape (Inquirer)

Paul Nussbaum at the Inquirer gives a good update on The Circuit projects coming online in our region:
Mayor Nutter last week opened a 12-foot-wide, 1.6-mile-long asphalt sidewalk along North Delaware Avenue through the industrial heartland of Port Richmond, and this month, Chester County will open a seven-mile segment of the Chester Valley Trail along Route 202 near Chesterbrook.

A $10 million, 2,000-foot-long concrete "boardwalk" being built out into the Schuylkill will extend the Schuylkill River Trail from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge in 2014.

By 2015, a $3 million ramp for bikers and walkers is expected to be under construction on the Camden end of the Ben Franklin Bridge...

"We're doing it inch by inch, step by step," State Sen. Michael Stack (D., Phila.) said as he helped celebrate the opening of the Port Richmond Trail last week. "It's taking us a little longer than we would like . . . but we look forward to moving it forward."

Region's Trail Funding is Unclear (Plan Philly)

If you want to know more about the history behind our campaign to secure new trail funding for The Circuit, Christine Fisher at PlanPhilly covers it this week:

In November 2010, the William Penn Foundation awarded DVRPC $10 million to create a Regional Trails Program, which would distribute the funding to trail development projects over a three-year span. Since then that $10 million has helped move 40 miles of trails forward as well as leverage millions of additional dollars. 

In many ways the $10 million grant accomplished what the William Penn Foundation hoped it would, but now that the money has been divided among projects, the foundation has no plans to replace it. 

Not wanting to lose momentum, regional trail advocates have begun campaigning. The movement is being led by The Circuit Coalition, a group advocating on behalf of The Circuit, a work-in-progress 750-mile regional trail network. 

“The Circuit Coalition Campaign is essentially making a case to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission that the funding was a huge success and that it should be replenished with another $10 million for a three-year period,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, policy director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and a Circuit Coalition leader. 

Read the full article on PlanPhilly.

Port Richmond Trail Opens With a Flourish

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Mayor Michael Nutter, State Senator Michael Stack, State Rep. John Taylor, Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis, and former Congressman Bob Borski and other dignitaries joined board members and staff of the Delaware River City Corporation to cut the ribbon on the new 1.6 mile long Port Richmond Trail.

The trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, is the newest addition to the Delaware River greenway that is being constructed piece by piece by Bucks Countyk, DRCC, and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.  It was constructed with TIGER funds that the City of Philadelphia and Camden won in 2010.

Press coverage was great and we tip our hats to Tom Branigan and others at DRCC for working so hard for bringing this project to fruition.  Thanks also to Parks and Recreation, the Streets Department and the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities.  

New Trail Connects Philly with wider East Coast network (WHYY)

Completed Port Richmond Trail Returns the River to its Neighbors ( and Plan Philly)

Riverfront Path Opens in Phila. (Philadelphia Inquirer & CBS3)

Other stories appeared in (, the Public Record

November Events #onthecircuit

Circuit Ribbon Cutting Events

Chester Valley Trail Phase 2 (TBA: construction slated to be finished in late November; no ribbon cutting date set yet)

Circuit Presentations

Penn-Tammany Greenway Coalition - November 2nd

Bike Expo Seminar - November 10th

Hikes, Runs & Boat Rides

Urban Circuit Backpacking Trip Nov. 1 – Nov. 4

D&L Marathon-  November 1st

Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - November 2nd

Trail Work Days & Events

Cynwyd Trail Workday - November 16th

Cynwyd Trail Tuesday – Healthy Eating November 19th

Fundraisers & Meetings

Philadelphia Parks Alliance Celebration - November 17th

Cynwyd Heritage Trail Annual Meeting - November 19th

Safe Trail Crossing Presentations Available

The Delaware & Lehigh Trail Alliance hosted the “Safe Trail Crossings for Eastern Pennsylvania” workshop on October 2nd in Allentown, PA.  As part of that conference, several excellent presentations were made.

Christy Staudt: Trail Crossing Design 101
Steve Pohowsky: Trail Crossing Agreements & Trail Crossings of State Highways

A third presentation on risk mitigation and liability by PennDOT counsel, Steve Roth, was not approved for distribution, but we encourage anyone interested in the topic to contact Steve as a potential speaker: .

Tags: Conference

Report on Building Trails Next to Active Rail Lines

Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) released a new report in mid-October on the development of multi-use trails alongside active freight, passenger and tourist rail lines.

The report America's Rails-with-Trails: A Resource for Planners, Agencies and Advocates on Trails Along Active Railroad Corridorsexamines the characteristics of 88 rails-with-trails in 33 states, based on a survey of trail managers and the results of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's ongoing study over the past 20 years. It also provides a collection of data, examples and practical tools to assist trail planners and advocates in increasing awareness of the rail-with-trail concept.

Download the new Rails with Trails report here.

Key Findings:

  • There are 161 rails-with-trails in 41 states, a 260 percent increase since 2000. Rails-with-trails represent almost 10 percent of all rail-trails in America. Another 60 rail-with-trail projects across the country are currently in various stages of development.
  • Out of the tens of thousands of fatalities on railroad corridors in recent decades, only one involved a trail user on a rail-with-trail. This suggests that a well-designed pathway provides a safe travel alternative and reduces the incentive to trespass or use the tracks as a shortcut.
  • Class I railroads continue to express formal opposition to the concept of trail development within or adjacent to their corridors. However, smaller private railroad companies and public rail authorities have reached agreements with trail managers on rail-with-trail development that have satisfactorily addressed any concerns about risk and liability.
  • There is a growing trend of rail-with-trail development alongside local and regional transit corridors. Fifteen percent of the active rails-with-trails identified in this study are located adjacent to mass transit corridors.
  • The vast majority of the rails-with-trails interviewed for this report are insured by an existing local umbrella policy, similar to most rail-trails and greenways.