Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP) is hosting the Camden Night Gardens (#CNG) on Thursday April 17, 2014 from 7pm – 11pm.
The Camden Night Garden (CNG) is a one-night festival that will engage the Camden community to showcase Camden’s rich cultural history through the use of large-scale, community-based light, sound, and projection instillations. The goal of CNG is to reimagine the underutilized waterfront trail for one night by “lighting up” the area and promoting the work of local artists, musicians, restaurants and bikers. CNG facebook page is here.
We would love for your organization to be present at the Camden Night Garden in our Exhibit Space.
This is a great chance to reach out to a wide audience, including Camden residents, neighborhood groups, art lovers, bike riders and other visitors.
To secure your spot in our Exhibit Space, please email or call Sue Brennan at or (856) 757-9154.
For $35, we will provide a table, two chairs, a colorful table cover and a 10x10 tent. We want every community organization to participate in #CNG so if you cannot afford the cost, please just ask us for a fee waiver.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Transportation Alternatives (TAP) Programs. The solicitation for these federally funded programs is being administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO).
For more information about the SRTS grant, see the solicitation letter here
For more information about the TAP grant, see the solicitation letter here
NJDOT’s application guidance document for the SRTS program containing the necessary information for completing an application and answering questions regarding eligibility and program requirements can be viewed here. The application guidance document for TAP can be viewed here
Applications for both SRTS and TAP are available through NJDOT’s online grant management system, SAGE (System for Administering Grants Electronically). The application deadline is May 15, 2014.
Visit NJDOT’s Local Aid and Economic Development website to learn more about both the SRTS and TAP grants.
Some key things to remember before applying -
NJDOT has heard concerns about Technical Assistance and will be providing more technical support this year. Look for an upcoming webinar, local training/workshops and a tip sheet to improve you application. NJ Safe Routes to School already has developed a TIP sheet for SRTS.
Program managers like to emphasize that both programs distribute funds for reimbursement.
DVRPC has control of about half of the TAP money allocated to the South Jersey counties in its jurisdiction and will be prioritizing these three categories:
Improvements to the Gloucester Township Bike Path, part of the Gloucester-Mt. Ephraim Trail is awaiting funding from the 2013 round of the Rec Trails Program.
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..."
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.
Flying Kite covered the recent trail and bike lane openings in the Camden GreenWay. Quotes from the article:
A few weeks ago, leaders from all levels of New Jersey government held a ribbon cutting ceremony in Camden to celebrate the completion of three TIGER-funded trail projects. The paved segments are crucial to completing the long-envisioned regional system of interconnected greenways.
"They're essential projects," says Ian Leonard with Camden County's Department of Public Works. "They allow for the connection of 128 miles of already-completed trails."
That system, dubbed The Circuit, will include 750 miles of trails; more than 250 miles have already been built throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Planners also hope that the three Camden County projects will boost economic development opportunities and quality of life for local residents.They include new bike lanes, lighting, signage, and extensive street and sidewalk improvements throughout downtown Camden. Located along Martin Luther King Boulevard, Pearl Street and Pine Street in Camden, the trails connect to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, making it easier for Philadelphians to bike or walk into Camden, and then on to Collingswood or Cherry Hill.
You can read the full article here.
There was a great turnout of elected officials at yesterday's ribbon cutting of the three new TIGER funded trails. Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senator Don Norcross, Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson, Mayor Dana Rudd, Freeholder Ian Leonard and several Camden councilpersons were all in attendance. Kids from CYCLE (Camden Youth Cycling Learning and Exercising) were also in attendance to demonstrate how much fun it is to ride on a safe street. The three projects were funded by a TIGER grant won by Camden County and the City of Philadelphia is 2010.
Tomorrow (August 29th) Camden County cuts the ribbon on three new bicycle and pedestrian street improvements near the City of Camden's waterfront. The trail projects, funded by a 2010 U.S. DOT TIGER grant that Camden County shared with the City of Philadelphia, are transforming parts of Downtown Camden, with the addition of bike lanes, new signage and lighting and extensive streetscape improvements. Together these streets help link Cooper River Park to the Ben Franklin Bridge (and thus trails in Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania) and are an important part of completing the Circuit.
The ribbon cutting will happen Thursday, August 29th at 1:00 pm at Pearl Street between 3rd and 5th Streets. A ceremonial bike ride by youth from CYCLE will precede remarks from dignitaries including US Senator Robert Menendez, Camden Mayor Dana L Redd, Congressman Rob Andrews, Senator Donald Norcross, Cooper's Ferry Partnership CEO Anthony Perno, and Camden County Freeholder Ian Leonard.
You can find these three projects on our website:
Since 2005, advocates has been working to make the Ben Franklin Bridge more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2012, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) agreed to fund the design of a ramp.
What is the name of that trail? For years the loosely connected paths surrounding the Cooper River suffered from an identity crisis. When you mentioned the bike trail at Cooper River Park most people thought of the loop between US 130 and Cuthbert Blvd. And for many the loop meant either bicycling on North Park/South Park Drive or the path between those roads and the river.
But there are some in the Camden County Park system who have a grander vision, of a unified and cohesive trail. There is movement on multiple fronts. On the west side of Route 130 a network of trails and bike lanes is coming together between the highway and the Ben Franklin Bridge. An organization called Friends of Cooper River Park West is working with the County to developed the long-neglected river section. And in Haddonfield a trail along the Cooper River down to Crows Woods Fields has been proposed and is in the County's draft trails plan.
And now we have a map! The Cooper River Trail map will be used to help identify the issues that need to be resolved to create a great regional trail. The laundry list of issues will be formidable but many can be resolved at a relatively low cost. Examples include posting navigational signage, construction of ADA compliant curb cuts, and painting bike lanes and crosswalks.
Still, some capital improvements will be required, not least of which is making the Route 130/Park Drive crossing safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Some trail gaps will have to be planned and programmed along with the rehabilitation of older path segments. Coordinating these improvements with improvements to adjacent roads and parks will help ease the financial burden and speedup the timeline of major projects.
With a vision and a pretty good head start, we are in a position to make the Greater Philadelphia Region's newest regional trail a reality.
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.
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.
On behalf of The Circuit Coalition, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia invites you to the launch of the Circuit Commitment Campaign.
We are bringing together trail enthusiasts and supporters like you for two informational sessions in June (one for PA, one for NJ). These caucus meetings are the kickoff to the Circuit Commitment Campaign.
The Circuit Commitment Campaign's goal is to replenish the DVRPC (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission)'s Regional Trail Fund, which is a competitive grant program established by the William Penn Foundation in 2010. The fund is distributing nearly $10 million in our nine-county region, and is helping plan, design and build nearly 40 miles of trail.
This grant program, if continued, could have a major impact on our trails! So we need people like you, who want to see The Circuit's unfinished trails built, to encourage County Commissioners (in Pennsylvania) & Freeholders (in New Jersey) to allocate a second $10 million for the years 2014-2016. This money will continue the momentum of that first grant cycle, moving us closer to realizing the vision of a region connected by a world-class network of bike-ped trails: The Circuit.
Get involved in creating new trails for your community by attending your state's trail caucus!
The Pennsylvania Caucus
June 17th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Haverford Community, Recreation & Environmental Center
Register to attend here
New Jersey Caucus
June 19th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Camden County Boathouse
Register to attend here
The Pennsylvania Caucus meeting will provide an overview of the next set of Circuit trails currently under development in Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia Counties.
The New Jersey Caucus meeting will provide an overview of the next set of Circuit trails currently under development in Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.
At each meeting, we will also discuss the campaign goal and how you can help get this trail funding secured.
We have received several requests from organizations who want to add the Circuit trails to their GIS map data. While we have the ability to export the Circuit data it is not in a format that can be readily placed in most GIS mapping software programs. So we have released a GIS file that shows the current trails are officially designated as part of the Circuit.
GIS or Geographic Information System is computer mapping that is integrated with database technology. GIS files containing map data (i.e. roads) can be read by various GIS programs such as the popular ArcGIS family of software and the open source QGIS. If you just want to display the map data you can use a free GIS viewers such as web based Geocommons.com (shown above) or ArcGIS Explorer. More readily available though are the .kml and .kmz file which can be displayed on Google Maps or in Google Earth.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants. The deadline for applying is February 15th, 2013
These grants are relatively small, the maximum allowable award is $25,000. But these grants can be combined with other funding sources and on their own can fund signage, trail maintenance/rehabilitiation or complete small sections of pathway in parks. RTP grants cannot pay for feasibility studies or land aquisition for non-motorized trails.
For details on the State Rec Trails Program go to http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/natural/trail_grants.htm.
The people of Camden County will have a chance to have input on the future of multi-use trails in the county on October 25th.
The Camden County Bicycling and Multi-Use Trails Master Plan will guide the implementation of multi-use trails and on-road bicycle facilities in Camden County. The proposed routes will connect county residents to greenways and trails, as well as enhance opportunities to walk or bike to schools, parks, shops, and employment centers. The final plan should also better define the county's portion of the The Circuit regional trails plan.
The public can bring forward suggestions for the countywide plan during a public listening session on October 25th at 6PM in the Camden County Boathouse, 7050 N. Park Drive, Pennsauken, NJ. If you plan to attend please RSVP to Jane Meconi - . Bring your ideas on how to make Camden County a more bicycle-friendly community.
The plan is being developed in four phases. Phases I and II have been completed; work on Phases III and IV of this project is being done concurrently. When entirely completed, all four parts will be combined into a county-wide plan sometime next year. Before presenting the finished document to the Camden County Board of Freeholders for potential adoption, citizens will have an opportunity to comment on the plan in its entirety via an online mapping application.
To get a general idea of the work that has already been done on the plan, take a look at the Phase II draft.
There are a number of trails under construction that are going to make an appearance soon.
Connector Bridge -- The installation of railings on the prefabricated truss bridge and approach ramps is underway on the Schuylkill River Parks Connector Bridge project over the CSX tracks between Spruce and Locust Streets. Work continues on the restoration of the Schuylkill River Park and Schuylkill Banks. The City hopes to have an opening ceremony in October, possibly in conjunction with Schuylkill River Park's Fall Festival. Some delays in the procurement of light fixtures may impact a complete opening of the bridge on that day. SRDC will have more information about the opening ceremony in its August newsletter.
Shawmont to Port Royal Avenue -- Construction of the portion of trail from Port Royal Avenue to Montgomery County line is complete. Work continues on the section from Shawmont to Port Royal along Nixon Street, including paving and completion of a retaining wall along the trail parallel to Nixon Street. Work is expected to be completed in Fall 2012.
Walnut Street Bridge Gateway - The Walnut Street Bridge project is moving along smoothly. Decorative granite pavers were installed on the south sidewalk and the new pedestrian lights have been erected. Some of the “expressway-like” overhead signs have been replaced with smaller signs that are more in keeping with the scale of the bridge, and the rest will be replaced soon. The south sidewalk is finished, so the contractor has switched traffic patterns and is doing similar work on north sidewalk. When this project is completed in September, vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians should all enjoy a safer, and cheerier, crossing of the river.
Cynwyd Station & Cynwyd Trailhead -- Two projects are nearing completion and there is an October 28th date set for a ribbon cutting for both.
58th Street Greenway -- The trail is being paved this summer. Trees, lighting, and pedestrian signage will be installed early this fall and a ribbon cutting to follow. Programming to celebrate the greenway is already underway through the Get Active 58th! program.
Camden Greenway -- Three projects are under construction that will significantly enhance the Camden Greenway: Pearl Street (next to the Ben Franklin Bridge), MLK Boulevard Waterfront Connection, and Pine Street Connector
Tacony Creek - Trail construction of Phase 1 (I & Ramona to Whitaker Avenue) is underway as of July 2012.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
Port Richmond Section of the East Coast Greenway
Penn Street Trail
Realignment of the Delaware Riverfront Trail between Pier 70 and Washington Avenue
|On Pearl St next to the Ben Franklin Bridge|
|MLK Blvd at Broadway|
|Port Richmond Trail Alignment at the Tioga Marine Terminal|