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Future Trail Segments Leading to the Manayunk Bridge

    • Future Trails around the Manayunk Bridge

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.   

    • Wissahickon Gateway Long and Short term alignments

Pennsylvania Announces Multi-Modal Fund Round



​Harrisburg, PA – PennDOT announced today it will begin accepting applications on October 3, 2015, for funding transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

“The fund allows us to assist communities with needed transportation improvements that otherwise may not move forward,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “This process represents an opportunity for worthwhile local projects to secure the support needed to come to fruition.”

PennDOT will evaluate the applications and make selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency, and operational sustainability.

The Multimodal Fund was created by Act 89, enacted in November 2013, Pennsylvania’s far-reaching transportation funding plan. The fund addresses

road and bridge projects. Also through the fund, transit, aviation, rail freight and pedestrian and bicycle modes obtained dedicated sources of funds for the first time, putting the modes on a firmer footing for future initiatives.

PennDOT has $40 million in grants available for fiscal year 2016-17.  Applications are due by December 18, 2015. PennDOT expects to announce grant recipients early next year for the funding that becomes available in July 2016.

For more information about the program, visit and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” button.

Tags: PennDOT

DVPRC and Counties Respond to Public Comments on Line Item for Circuit on NJ TIP

In July, the Draft DVRPC Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for New Jersey (FY2016-2019) was put out for public comment.  It layed out the transportation priorities for the four New Jersey counties in the Greater Philadelphia region.  This was an opportunity for Circuit supporters to send a message to their elected officials to dedicate transportation funding for Circuit trails in Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.  

The Circuit Coalition put out a call to action asking supporters to contact their county officials and ask that a "line item" for the Circuit be included in the Transportation Improvement Program.

By the August 10th deadline, 137 individuals from the general public with some on behalf of five advocacy groups submitted over 200 written comments on the Draft TIP via email on 214 different issues.  61% of those comments requested  a new TIP project/line item for the Circuit.

On September 30th, the DVPRC Board approved the TIP without a line item for the Circuit.  DVPRC and each of the four counties provided a response to the Circuit line item comments.  The responses were as follows:

Agency Response by DVRPC: Thank you for your comment. DVRPC supports the development of a regional multi-use trail system. Improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities is important for those residents that use these modes to meet their daily needs, including travel to jobs and local errands. Creating an interconnected network of multi-use trails provides an alternative to motorized transportation. Improved local, non-motorized mobility promotes economic development and enhances quality of life. DVRPC included the Circuit in Connections 2040: Plan for Greater Philadelphia. This 750-mile interconnected regional multi-use trail network will provide for bicycle and pedestrian access across the region, complementing local investments in bike lanes, sidewalks, and similar infrastructure. Investments have been made in Circuit trails in all four New Jersey counties in DVRPC’s service area, and more are identified in New Jersey’s FY2016 Transportation Improvement Program. Though a Circuit-specific line item is not included in this TIP, DVRPC will continue to explore options for increasing investment in these important facilities.

Agency Response by Burlington County:

See attached letter for Burlington County's response to comments that request a new line item in the TIP for the construction of Circuit trails in the DVRPC region. Go to this link and scroll to p.27 to see Burlington County's letter

Agency Response by Camden County: 

Camden County supports the development of an inner connected regional trail system and is currently using the TIP programs like Transportation Enhancements to improve trails and bike lanes within the County. Camden County uses local, county and federal resources to support all trail development throughout the County.

Agency Response by Gloucester County:

Thank you for your support. The County of Gloucester will continue to be an advocate for trail funding within Gloucester County. The County continues to push for funding the Circuit Trail system with the current ROW and Construction funding contained within the TIP for the extension of the Multi-Purpose Trail from its current terminus at Delsea Drive (Route 47) to Rowan University and to the Elk Township Recreational Park (which connects to the Elephant Swamp Trail and Salem County). We are actively looking at funding opportunities for the continuation of the Circuit Trail beyond Rowan University to existing facilities at Chestnut Branch Park and onward to Camden County’s Blackwood Trail. Branch trails are also being looked at for funding including connections to Washington Lake Park and James Atkinson Park.

Agency Response by Mercer County:

Mercer County values the enthusiasm and energy of our local biking and active recreation advocates. We do more by working together. In this spirit, in recent months, County staff have worked with municipal representatives on the Mercer County Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, hosted by the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, to identify current and future potential multi-purpose trail projects, especially those that tie into larger networks. Projects were prioritized for funding from sources that suited their stage of development, size, complexity, and so on, and County staff continue to advocate for those funds and add projects to the priority list. Different funding sources have different requirements and federal funds allocated in a TIP line item are the most onerous, for which only large projects executed by local governments are appropriate. State funds, also allocated through the TIP, are a little more flexible. Mercer County actively advocates for local trail projects under existing federal funding programs, including Transportation Alternatives, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, Safe Routes To Schools, Safe Routes To Transit, and other State DOT and DEP programs. For specific, construction-ready projects of appropriate size, the County will also support individual TIP actions. If a number of such projects arise in our work with trail partners in years to come, the County will consider advocating for an ongoing TIP line item. The County will also continue to make significant investments in trail, bike, and pedestrian facility development using County Open Space and highway and bridge capital programs. So, to our partners and enthusiastic advocates, thanks for watching, thanks for pushing, and let’s keep pushing in the same direction. 


Take Action to Help Fund New Jersey Circuit Trails

    • circuit takeaction 480x385

Supporters of Circuit trails in New Jersey - Speak Up!

Are you fond of the Delaware and Raritan trail and can't wait to see it complete from Trenton to Bordentown?  Do you use the Cooper River Trail but wish there was a seamless bike/ped trail between the Ben Franklin Bridge and Haddonfield?  These are just a few of the many trails that are part of the Circuit in Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties that are awaiting funds for planning, design and construction.

Now, there is a major opportunity for Circuit supporters to send a message to their elected officials to dedicate transportation funding for Circuit trails in Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.  

The Draft DVRPC Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for New Jersey (FY2016-2019) is out for public comment.  It lays out the transportation priorities for the four New Jersey counties in the Greater Philadelphia region. The deadline for sending a comment is August 10th.

Please take a moment to contact your county freeholders to create a "line item" for Circuit Trails in the FY2016 TIP.

Click here to send an email to your county representative!  

Thank you for taking action for the Circuit!

More $ 4 Circuit -- Say Thx!

    • circuit takeaction 480x385

Let's give DVPRC a shoutout!

As readers of this blog know, this past June 26th, the DVRPC Board voted unanimously to support the dedication of federal and private dollars toward 11 circuit trail segments in Pennsylvania.  It approved a new “line item”  for the Pennsylvania Transportation Improvement Program (AKA the PA TIP) that designates $5 million in federal transportation dollars for construction.

Take a moment to say a quick thank you to the Board members of DVRPC by clicking here to send an email. 

Tags: funding

Broad Support for New Trails Across 9 County Region

In May 2015, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia conducted a public opinion survey across all nine counties of the Delaware Valley. The survey aimed to gather an understanding of the general population’s awareness of the Circuit and the level of demand for more trails in the region.

The survey found high levels of support for trails in the region.  Overall, 85 percent support building more trails in their counties. Furthermore, 70 percent were in favor of spending $2 per person in public dollars annually to pay for new miles of trails. 

Sixty percent of respondents said they would like to have access to a trail, or more trails within 10 minutes of their homes.  Of respondents under the age of 45, that level of support rose to 72 percent

Read more by reviewing the full survey results analysis or a breakdown of survey results by each county.


    • investmentsupport

What's on Deck for the Circuit

Based upon a review of the status of Circuit trail projects in the nine counties, we are able to update the estimated completion dates of twenty-six trail projects and four on-road bike lane projects that are likely to occur over the next 24 months.  There are roughly 30 miles of trails and 15 miles of bike lanes expected to be added over the next two years.  Many exciting trail projects that everyone has long been waiting for are on this list!

Project Title




ESTIMATED Completion date

Delaware Avenue Extension

Paved Trail



Fall 2015

Green Lane Connector

Paved Trail/Sidepath



Fall 2015

Newtown Square Trail




Fall 2015

Darby Creek Stream Valley Park

Paved Trail



Fall 2015

Tinicum Route 291 ECG




Fall 2015

Pennypack Trail - Route 63  to Byberry Road

Stone Dust Trail



Fall 2015

Cobbs Creek Segment A




Spring 2016

Manayunk Bridge

Paved Trail/Bridge



Spring 2016

Pennypack Trail - Crossing of Frankford Ave

2-Way Protected Bike Lane



Spring 2016

Marcus Hook ECG

Bike Lanes



Spring 2016

Betzwood Bridge




Spring 2016

Big Woods Trail

Stone Dust Trail



Spring 2016

Kinkora Trail




Spring 2016

Lawrence Hopewell Trail - Carter Road Section




Spring 2016

Chester Creek Trail

Paved Trail



Summer 2016

SRT Pottstown - Phase 1




Summer 2016

Tookany Creek

Paved Trail



Summer 2016

Bartram's Mile




Fall 2016

Baxter Trail

Paved Trail



Fall 2016

K&T Trail

Paved Trail



Fall 2016

SRT - South St to Christian

Paved Trail



Fall 2016

Tyburn Road Underpass




Fall 2016

Del Rvr Heritage Trail




Fall 2016

Gray's Ferry Swing Bridge




Spring 2017

Lindberg Blvd - 84th St to John Heinz

Paved Trail/Sidepath



Spring 2017

Ben Franklin Bridge Ramp




Spring 2017

Delaware River Waterfront Trail - Washington Ave to Pier 70

Trail Improvement



Spring 2017





Tuckahoe Road Bike Lanes - Monroe Twp to Route 40

Bike Lanes



Fall 2015

Camden/North Camden Waterfront Bike Facilities

Bike Lanes



Fall 2015

Camden/North Camden Waterfront Bike Facilities




Fall 2015

North Park Drive Bike Lanes (Part of the Circuit)

Bike Lanes



Summer 2016





Circuit Trail Segments Poised For the PA TIP

Since May 2014, the PA counties have been working to strategically prioritize  segments of the Circuit.  As a result of this work, a number of these projects are being nominated to receive Regional Trail Program funding for design and engineering, construction, or additional study.  The nominations will be up for approval at the June 2015 DVRPC Board meeting.  If approved, this phase will distribute almost $1.4 million in funding.

The PA counties have also sought to identify projects that could be placed on the PA Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which is the 5 counties' transportation capital budget program. An action will be introduced at the June 2015 Board meeting to create a Circuit line item on the TIP.  Seven high-priority trail projects deemed ready for design have been identified for inclusion in this line item.    

The DVRPC Board is poised to dedicate $5 M of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds to that line item for the construction of the projects.  Identified projects will be eligible to use those funds for construction. They will also work through the PennDOT process during design, making them well-positioned to compete for future federal construction funding sources. 

In addition, six of the seven projects in the line item will receive Regional Trails Program funding to pay for design and engineering.  Finally, it should be noted that approximately $9.5 million in construction funds are already programmed for the Chester Valley Trail Extension. This project is included among the seven because it has been nominated to receive supplemental funding for design and engineering from the Regional Trails Program.

The PA Circuit TIP Projects will be:

Philadelphia - 1) Pennypack Trail - State & Rhawn Crossing

                        2) Cobbs Creek Segment D– 84th Street to entrance of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge along Lindberg Blvd.

                        3) Spring Garden Street Greenway - Final Preliminary Design

Montco -           4) Chester Valley Trail Extension

                         5) Pennypack Trail - Byberry Road to County Line Road

Bucks -             6) Newtown Branch (Southampton section)

                         7) Bridge Street Crossing – D&L Canal Towpath

The following projects will receive Regional Trail Program Round 2 funds for construction or study, but will not be placed onto the TIP:

  • Chester - Chester Valley Trail Phase 4A (construction)
  • Schuylkill RIver Trail - 422 to Moser Rd (construction)
  • Frankford Greenway (alignment analysis study)
  • Cross County Trail  (alignment analysis study)
Tags: TIP

Recap of the 2015 May Semi-Annual Circuit Coalition Meeting

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    • postcard back final
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On May 21, 2015, 48 members of the Circuit Coalition attended the semi-annual meeting in Cherry Hill, New Jersey at the Camden County Environmental Resource Center. 

Chris Linn of Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission opened the meeting by giving an overview of the status of the Circuit and an update on the Regional Trails Program Round 2 as of May 2015.  Chris reported that between May 2014 and May 2015, the Circuit added 6.5 miles and improved 1.4 miles of trails.  Round 2 of the Regional Trail Program, which is $6.5 million, will provide $2.15 M to the four New Jersey counties, of which $1.5 M will be dedicted to trails in urban areas and $610,000 unrestricted.  It will also provide $4.35 M in the five Pennsylvania counties, of which $3.1 M will be dedicated to urban areas and $1.25 unrestricted.

He also provided an update on Pennsylvania trail projects will be receiving some of the RTP funding this summer and which ones will be moved onto the TIP and be eligible for federal funds.  Shawn Megill Legendre presented about the NJ projects. More about this effort will follow in a future blog post.

Sarah Clark Stuart provided an update on which trail projects are likely to be completed over the next 18 months (by December 2016.)  It includes about 27 projects that will be adding over 30 miles of new trails throughout the 9 counties.  Sarah presented on the new projects that will be coming online in Pennsylvania.  Matt Norris presented on the projects that will be coming online in New Jersey.  A table of all complete and anticipated projects is here.

Sarah also presented on a telephone survey on Circuit awareness recently conducted by Rails to Trails Conservancy and one a separate survey conducted on depth of support for public investment in Circuit trails projects.

Nick Rogers of the Clean Air Council provided an overview of a new multimodal transportation route planner website developed in conjunction with Azevea.  The website, called is in beta mode and users are welcome to check in out and provide feedback.

Christine Reimert of Devine & Partners reported on the ongoing effort being led by D&P and Rails to Trails Conservancy to increase the profile of the Circuit brand and described the Summer 2015 plans and activities.  One item of note is that they have prepared a new postcard to garner public support for connecting the Circuit.  These postcards are designed for tabling events and can be used to ask people to provide their names and email addresses.  If you would like to have postcards mailed to you, please send an email to

To wrap up, Matt Norris presented two out of four videos that Tri-State Transportation Campaign has prepared on the Circuit. The four videos are: The Circuit - What Is It?; The Circuit - A Community Place; The Circuit - Getting There and The Circuit - It's Happening

2014 Highlights of the Circuit

    • 300 mile complete
    • 2014 Circuit logo slide
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2014 Milestones     

  • 12 miles of new trails were added, including the Boardwalk on Schuylkill Banks 
  • Manayunk Bridge and four other trails broke ground  
  • $13.2 million in federal, state and local grants were made in 2014 for Circuit projects.
  • The Willilam Penn Foundation awarded $8.6 million for Circuit trails and a communications plan
  • 8 counters were installed on Chester Valley Trail, Cynwyd, SRT at Kelly Drive, SRT at Pawlings Road, Lawrence Hopewell Trail, US 202 Parkway Trail, Wissahickon Trail. 
  • The Pennsylvania FY 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program committed an additional $1 million for Circuit projects in the next round of Transportation Alternatives awards and the five PA counties agreed to prioritize their Circuit trails for future funding.
  • Coverage in 47 outlets that reached 89 million viewers

300 miles are now complete

The Circuit grew in 2014 through the opening of the following trails:

Eleven Ribbon Cuttings/Trail Openings       

  1. Neshaminy Creek Trail - Doylestown & New Britain      
  2. Pennypack North/South Extension  
  3. Chester Valley Trail 2  & Trail 3           
  4. Schuylkill River Trail-Boardwalk    
  5. Kinkora Trail
  6. Lawrence Hopewell Pennington Connection        
  7. Schuylkill River Trail-Leesport
  8. Baldwin Run Trail
  9. Poquessing Creek Trail (not an official Circuit Trail)
  10. Yellow Springs Trail (Valley Forge) (not an official Circuit Trail)
  11. Destination Peace Valley Trail (not an official Circuit Trail)

Five Groundbreakings                       

  1. Manayunk Bridge    
  2. ECG- Baxter Trail     
  3. Pennypack N/S Extension  
  4. Sullivan's Bridge      
  5. Schuylkill River Trail West (not an official Circuit trail)

Media Impressions

Number of Viewers/Readers Reached:


**Huffington Post Viewership: 54,657,952**

Estimated Advertising Value:


**Does not include Huffington Post advertising value**

*All readership, unique viewers and advertising equivalency numbers are estimates based on the best available data

Major Messages

  • As the trail network grows, small businesses are benefitting
  • Key assets in the Circuit are being completed
  • Collaboration leads to progress in trail development
  • Philadelphia is one of the most accessible cities for cyclists
  • The Circuit will make Philadelphia a world-class city for trail access
  • Funding is key for further trail development

Media Placements:

  • Since June, 47 different outlets covered stories
  • More than 16 TV segments
  • An impressive 8 Inquirer stories
  • All 4 Major Philly news channels covered events

50 Miles in Progress

Circuit Trails in the 9 county region were awarded $13.2 million in federal, state and local funding.

400 Miles to Go

We expect the following trails in the coming years to open:


  • Manayunk Bridge
  • Bartram’s Mile
  • SRT in Phoenixville and along the tow path in Mont Clare
  • Baxter Trail 
  • Pennypack between Welsh Road and Byberry Road (Bryn Athyn)


  • Ben Franklin Bridge ramp,
  • Chester Valley Trail in Montgomery County 
  • new bridge over the Schuylkill River at Valley Forge


    • pp141116 boardwalkc 2

William Penn Foundation Announces $8.6 million in Grants for the Circuit



New Urban Trails to Increase Access to Greater Philadelphia’s Waterways

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 15, 2014) – The region’s trail network, known as the Circuit, has received a significant boost toward further trail completion, awareness-building and bettering public access to Philadelphia’s waterways with new funding from the William Penn Foundation.  The grants, totaling $8.6 million, will leverage the work of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), which are members of the Circuit Coalition.  When complete, the Circuit will include 750 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting people to jobs, communities, waterways and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region. To date, more than 300 miles of the network have been built.

“The Circuit’s hundreds of miles of trails create vital opportunities to dramatically increase public access to Greater Philadelphia’s waterways and will serve as key elements for engaging and connecting urban communities to these natural resources,” said Andrew Johnson, director of the Watershed Protection Program for the Foundation.   Johnson added that most of the unbuilt trail miles in urban corridors follow abandoned rail lines and cross contaminated industrial lands, including trails on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Camden, Chester and Trenton and on the Schuylkill River. These trails are typically expensive and complicated to complete but are essential as urban hubs for the network.  “These trails increase scarce public access to our rivers, particularly in underserved neighborhoods that have been cut off from waterways for generations, and they also literally connect people to visible examples of stream restoration projects for ongoing environmental protection efforts,” he said.

DVRPC will receive $7 million over three years from the Foundation to support final design and engineering work for trail projects, ensuring that selected trails are shovel-ready for construction.  The DVRPC grant will also include some construction capital and will leverage millions of dollars of available public infrastructure funding for trail completion.  RTC’s $1.6 million grant, also over three years, is designed to implement a communications program to build awareness of this significant regional amenity. The campaign will emphasize how and where people can connect to the Circuit for recreation, commuting and fitness use and how they can support the completion of the overall system through advocacy and giving. 

“We are so grateful to the William Penn Foundation for sharing in and supporting our vision of how a fully connected Circuit will bring environmental, economic, health, community and quality of life benefits to residents and visitors throughout greater Philadelphia,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, chairperson of the Circuit Coalition, a collaboration of nearly 70 non-profit organizations, foundations and public agencies.  “This funding underscores the Foundation’s long-term commitment to powering public-private partnerships for the good of the region.  For a significant number of people, the Circuit is their commuting route, town square, gym and playground. Catalyzing further progress toward completing the Circuit in new communities expands the Circuit’s benefits to many more people who currently lack access to green space and riverfronts.  We are also fortunate that our Coalition members engage at such a significant advocacy level – identifying opportunities to move the effort forward and providing constituents with opportunities to make their priorities known to decision makers,” Stuart said.

“We have made tremendous progress toward completion of the Circuit, and this $7 million grant from the William Penn Foundation will advance development of key segments of this emerging regional trail network with a focus on urban communities,” said Barry Seymour, DVRPC Executive Director. “Specifically, new funding will provide support to trails at key planning, engineering, and construction stages, leveraging and maximizing regional investment in these facilities. We will identify the high-priority trail projects and help make them happen.”

According to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy President Keith Laughlin, when completed the Circuit will be the most comprehensive regional trail network in the country.  “As we have seen in cities like Atlanta, Indianapolis and Seattle, active transportation networks like this are about much more than just a nice place to walk or ride; they are about how cities position themselves as great places to live, work and do business,” Laughlin said. “The Circuit would be without parallel. This is what the transportation and recreation systems of the future will look like, and the Circuit will be the Greater Philadelphia region’s competitive advantage.”

About the Circuit

The Circuit is a multi-use trail network that connects 300 miles of trails throughout the Greater Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with plans to add 450 additional miles to the system.  When fully complete, the Circuit will help connect people to jobs, recreational opportunities, public transportation and other neighborhoods, and will serve as a gateway to open green space. Support of the Circuit is being led by the Circuit Coalition, a group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies working together to raise the profile of this regional trail network, and educate people about the benefits an increased trail network will bring to the region. For more information please visit

About Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is dedicated to uniting the region's elected officials, planning professionals and the public with the common vision of making a great region even greater. Shaping the way we live, work and play, DVRPC builds consensus on improving transportation, promoting smart growth, protecting the environment, and enhancing the economy. We serve a diverse region of nine counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer in New Jersey. DVRPC is the official metropolitan planning organization for the Greater Philadelphia Region - leading the way to a better future. For more information, visit

About Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a nonprofit organization with  more than 160,000 members and supporters, represents a national community of more than 850,000 trail users. Founded in 1986, RTC is America’s largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. For more information, visit

About William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. The Foundation’s assets exceed $2.3 billion as of Nov. 30, 2014.

Recap of the Circuit Coalition's November 2014 Semi-Annual Meeting

    • 2014 Circuit logo slide

On November 20, 2014, the Circuit Coalition held its fifth semi-annual meeting at DVRPC's offices.  Over 55 persons attended for the two hour program.

Patrick Starr of Pennsylvania Environmental Council gave a recap of the past year's success in four groundbreakings and eight ribbon cuttings that garnered media attention, covered by 47 different outlets; 16 TV segments by all 4 major Philadelphia news channels; and an impressive 8 Philadelphia Inquirer stories. 

Major messages included: as the trail network grows, small businesses are benefitting; key assets in the Circuit are being completed; collaboration leads to progress in trail development; Philadelphia is one of the most accessible cities for bicyclists; the Circuit will make Philadelphia a world-class city for trail access adn funding is key for further trail development.

Chris Linn of Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission informed us that Circuit trails successfully raised $13.1 million in federal, state and local funding during 2014.

Leo Bagley of Montgomery County Planning Commission provided us with an update on the trail segment prioritization process that the five PA counties are undertaking with DVRPC staff assistance.  

Matt Norris of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign provided an update on the progress being made in the four NJ counties.

Shawn Megill Legendre of DVRPC brought us up to date on the 8 permanent counters that have been installed througouth the Circuit with 2 more to go in 2015.  Carl Knoch of Rails to Trails Conservancy described the trail survey effort that is underway on the Circuit.

Elissa Garofalo of the Delaware & Lehigh Corridor, Gail Farmer of The Schuylkill Center and Barrett Dunigan of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail presented on each of their organizations successful efforts to partner with a hospital or health provider to promote their Circuit trails for wellness.  

In summary, the Circuit Coalition has 43 member organizations and 15 partner agencies.  To date, the Circuit has 300 miles complete, 50 in progress and 400 remain to be built.  30 miles have been built since 2012.  It's been an busy and exciting 2014 and we are all looking forward to even more progress in 2015.  

Lastly, you know we've hit the big time when the Boardwalk is featured in Signe Wilkinson's "Penn's Place" in the Sunday Inquirer.  We are honored.

    • 300 mile complete
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Poquessing Creek Trail to Open December 10

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation cordially invites you to the Poquessing Creek Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 1:00 PM. The ribbon cutting is taking place on the trail, which begins at Junod Playground (12770 Dunks Ferry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154). Please see the map below for directions to the ribbon cutting site. Please park in the parking lot off Mechanicsville Road, shown on the map. FYI—the estimated amount of time from Center City Philadelphia to this site is 30 minutes during non-peak traffic times.

    • poquessing creek trail

Bike Jim Thorpe Bridge to Support The D&L



Show your support for completing the D&L Trail!

Jim Thorpe, PA

Saturday, November 8th

It's a big project that needs your BIG support. Help us make this critical connection to link all five counties of the D&L Trail.

Registration: $29, or $45 with bike rental.

Call 1-800-944-8392 to reserve your space.

Riders will enjoy biking the beautiful D&L Trail in the off-season from one of our newest trailheads in Luzerne County.  From there we will pedal through the Lehigh Gorge, past Rockport and Penn Haven Junction to historic downtown Jim Thorpe. We’ll ride along the Lehigh River and some of the most scenic mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Bike for the Bridge will bring riders together to enjoy this beautiful landscape and support a good cause.  Please join us on one of the last big bike rides of the season.

We know you expect the D&L Trail to be easily accessible, convenient and provide a great outdoor experience. This ride is fully supported with bike techs and water stations. Riders, and their bikes, will be shuttled from downtown Jim Thorpe to their starting destination.

Choose your option for this ride:
• 36 miles from Black Diamond Trailhead to Jim Thorpe (10 a.m. start)
• 15 miles from Rockport to Jim Thorpe (12:30 p.m. start)

All proceeds will benefit the building the pedestrian bridge. This project will help complete the D&L Trail as it crosses the Lehigh River from historic downtown Jim Thorpe to the Lehigh Canal Towpath and Weissport Trailhead.

To register for this event, please call Pocono Biking to reserve your spot:

Registration will also be available the morning of the event.

(Online registration is not available.)

For more information, please visit our website: Bike for the Bridge

Tags: Event

PA awards grants to Circuit Trails

PennDOT's Multi-modal Fund

Philadelphia County

  • Delaware River Waterfront Corporation – $200,000 for pedestrian and bicycle facility improvements on Spring Garden Street between Columbus Boulevard/North Delaware Avenue and 2nd Street to enhance mass transit access and leverage transit-oriented development.
  • Schuylkill River Development Corporation – $1.7 million for Bartram's Mile, the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail, a multi-use commuter and recreational trail, along the west bank of the Schuylkill River from just south of Grays Ferry Avenue to 56th Street.

Montgomery County

  • Upper Dublin Township – $2.9 million to reduce the width of part of Commerce Drive to allow the construction of a 10-foot wide trail to connect Pennsylvania and Delaware Avenues, allowing construction of .75 miles of a section of the Cross County Trail


Commonwealth Financing Authority's Greenways, Recreation & Trails Program

Philadelphia County

  • Delaware River City Corporation - $150,000 for the K&T Trail
  • Natural Lands Trust - $150,000 for the Friends Hospital Conservation Easement (Tacony Creek Trail)


  • Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.- $217,375 for Lehigh Valley Trail Connectivty Project


  • Natural Lands Trust - $224,000 for the Darby Creek Greenway Addition


  • East Goshen Township - $52,500 for the Paoli Pike Trail


  • Solebury Township - $110,000 for Solebury Route 202 Gateway Trail

Manayunk Bridge Groundbreaking Recap

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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!

Philadelphia Trail Update Symposium

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What are the next big trail projects in Philadelphia? What is in store for trails near your home?

Hear the answers directly from City and non-profit development organizations that plan and build Philadelphia’s trail network. Alan Urek, Director, Strategic Planning & Policy of Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis of Parks & Recreation, and Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff of the Mayor's Office of Transportation and other non-profit partners will share updates on how trail projects are envisioned, prioritized and developed; which segments will be constructed next; and the vision for the citywide trail network.

5:30 – 6 Registration and Refreshments

6 – 7:30 Program

Please RSVP here

Circuit Exploration Report: Checking out the CVT in Montgomery County

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    • PECO ROW in KOP
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For most people, the caged bike/ped bridge over I-76 (as seen in the photo slide show) in King of Prussia is the closest they have ever gotten to the Chester Valley Trail (CVT) in Montgomery County.  

The bridge opened in 2004 when the I-76 and 202 interchange was upgraded.  (The other trail bridge is Norfolk Southern's Trenton Cutoff.)  And, slowly but surely, the Chester Valley Trail has been built to the west to meet Chester County's 13 miles of trail and in hopefully in two years, will extend eastward to meet up directly with the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown. 

Currently, in Montgomery County, the eastern edge of the CVT is South Gulph Road and the westen end is at South Warner Road. As part of our "Explore the Circuit" series of rides and walks, on October 18th, about twenty of us joined Mike Stokes, Assistant Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission to see how the county was going to align the Chester Valley Trail eastward to the SRT.  

We set out on a beautiful windy afternoon from the S. Warner Road trailhead (nice parking lot with toilet facilities) and walked east, over the expressway to South Gulph Road.  We then crossed over to Bill Smith (a former Supervisor) Boulevard and took a look at the historic King of Prussia Inn (which was moved years ago from its original location.) Afterwards, we walked through the (hugely wide) PECO right of way that the trail will go through and then along Hansen Access Road.  Fortuitously, we had among our group a SETPA planner who told us that one of four possible alignments for the KOP trolley extension might also use the PECO ROW, but it won't interfere with the trail.  At the junction of Hanson Access Road and Henderson Road, the trail will go over Henderson Road on second bike/ped bridge and land on an inactive rail line.  The trail will continue up this old rail line and eventually meet up at DeKalb Street and cross the Schuylkill River on the DeKalb Bridge where it will meet with Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center.  

It was a lovely walk and everyone enjoyed learning more about this much anticipated connection between two Circuit trunk trails.  Montco hopes to advertise the project in 2015 and estimates that the project will take one year to complete.  The Bicycle Coalition hopes to return next spring and host another walk of the section from Henderson Road to Norristown.  Many thanks to Mike Stokes for sharing his deep knowledge of the project, the map below and some of his photos.

    • chester valley trail extension map

Look for Rails to Trails Conservancy Trail Surveys #onthecircuit

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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is conducting Trail User Surveys on the following Circuit trails:
Pennsylvania Trails
  • Chester Valley Trail
  • Cynwyd Heritage Trail
  • Port Richmond Trail
  • Perkiomen Trail
  • Radnor Trail
  • Route 202 Parkway Trail
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Valley Forge area) 
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Fairmount Park area)
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Schuylkill Banks area) 
  • Wissahickon Trail
New Jersey Trails 
  • Blackwood Railroad Trail
  • Cooper River Trail
  • Elephant Swamp Trail 
  • Lawrence-Hopewell Trail 
  • Monroe Township Trail 
There are two types of surveys with identical questions. A paper survey which can be mailed back to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy postage paid, and an online survey hosted by Survey Monkey. Paper survey forms can be found in boxes.  The online survey can be accessed via smartphone using the QR code on the front of the survey box or by using the URL contained on the "take one" card.   Look for both on these trails and fill one out!
Surveys will be available through at least the end of the year.

Pennsylvania Grants $2 million for the Circuit

On Friday, October 17th, Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation & Natural Resources announced $33 million in grants awarded through their Community Conservation Partnerships Program for trails, parks and open space.  Ten awards (out of 219) were for Circuit trail projects, totalling $1,995,500.  The ten projects included four for construction, five for planning, and one for acquisition.  Listed below are the ten grants awarded to Circuit trails.  Full list of all grants can be downloaded here

We offer a hearty congrats to all of our partners who received this funding!  It's terrific and we are excited that so many worthy projects are going to be moving forward!  And many thanks to our hardworking colleagues at DCNR for making these awards possible.  Thank you DCNR!!!


Doylestown Township, $326,000, Development of the Neshaminy Creek Greenway Trail in New Britain Borough and New Britain and Doylestown townships, Bucks County.  Work to include the construction of approximately 0.75 mile of trail and bridge to connect Upper State Road in Doylestown Township to the New Britain Train Station in New Britain Borough; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Stephanie Mason, (215) 348-9915 ext. 1033. 

Solebury Township, $500,000, Further development of the Route 202 Gateway Trail in Solebury Township, Bucks County.  Work to include the construction of a 0.3-mile trail segment from the Route 202 Connector Road to Magill's Hill Park on Chapel Road in Solebury Township; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Dennis H. Carney, (215) 297-5656. 

Phoenixville Borough, $481,900, Further development of the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville Borough, Chester County and Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County.  Work to include the construction of approximately 0.2 mile of trail across the PA Route 29 Mont Clare Bridge to connect Phoenixville Borough to Upper Providence Township; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Jean Krack, (610) 933-8801 ext. 111. 

Philadelphia City, $400,000, Development of the Frankford Creek Greenway in Philadelphia City.  Work to include construction of approximately 1.2 miles of trail from the intersection of Wheatsheaf Lane and Aramingo Avenue to the intersection of Lewis Street and Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia City; ADA access, landscaping, project sign, and other related site improvements. Robert Armstrong, (215) 683-0229. 


Chester County, $50,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to connect the Chester Valley Trail to the Struble and Brandywine trails in Downingtown Borough, Chester County; Caln, East Caln, East Bradford, West Bradford, and West Whiteland townships, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Brian E. Styche, (610) 344-6285. 

Concord Township, $40,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate the options to develop a 6-mile multi-use trail along the Octorara Railroad line in Concord Township and Chester Heights Borough, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Brenda L. Lamanna, (610) 459-8911 ext. 102. 

Haverford Township, $45,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to extend the Darby Creek Trail north to the Haverford Reserve and south to the Upper Darby Township line in Haverford Township, Delaware County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Tim E. Denny, (610) 446-9397. 

Clean Air Council, $30,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options to extend the Cobbs Creek Connector Trail - Segment B from the Blue Bell Inn at Woodland Avenue and Island Avenue to the Cibotti Recreation Center at 77th Street and Elmwood Avenue. Work to include a written, bound report. Nick Rogers, (215) 567-4004 ext. 110. 

Schuylkill River Development Corporation, $50,000, Prepare a Trail Study to evaluate options for extending the Schuylkill River Trail along the eastern bank of the Schuylkill River from Christian Street to the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail at 34th Street in Philadelphia City, Philadelphia County.  Work to include a written, bound report. Joseph R. Syrnick PE,  tel:215-222-6030-ext.102


Montgomery County, $73,000, Payment toward the acquisition of three parcels totaling approximately 16 acres along Route 422 in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County for open space and access to the Schuylkill River and proposed Schuylkill River Trail. Michael M. Stokes, (610) 278-3729. 

Tags: DCNR