300 miles are now complete
The Circuit grew in 2014 through the opening of the following trails:
Eleven Ribbon Cuttings/Trail Openings
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
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:
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.
In Chester County, you can bike over 12 miles of off road trail in along Route 202, from approximately Warner Road to Exton. But, did you know that the Chester Valley Trail is going to connect all the way to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown? Currently, the trail is complete in Montgomery County only from Warner Road to South Gulph Road across I-76. Montgomery County Planning Commission has federal, state, and county funding in hand to build the trail from South Gulph Road across King of Prussia over the DeKalb Street Bridge to the Norristown Transportation Center. That project is in final design and should start in 2015.
We've asked Michael Stokes of Montgomery Planning Commission to lead us on guided walk of the alignment of the trail on Saturday, October 18th at 1pm. This walk will be approximately 8 miles long; from the Warner Road trailhead to Boro Line Road and back. (We aren't walking all the way to Norristown because a bridge over Boro Line Road is still under construction.)
This walk is free for Bicycle Coalition members and $20 for non-members (first year's membership is included). Please sign up here
The wind and the rain did not dampen spirits at last week's ribbon cutting of of the Chester Valley Trail's phase 3 at Exton Park. County Commissioners, Bike Chester County, DCNR, West Whiteland Township and others were in attendence.
The new segment is only 3/4 mile long. But it connects the main trail to a long orphaned segment that stretches from Main St Exton to Iron Lake Rd and includes a pedestrian activated signalized crossing of Lincoln Highway (Business 30). As a result the trail has expanded to a length of 13 miles between Exton and King Of Prussia.
What makes the Chester Valley Trail so critical is that is in the County's main commercial corridor that is sandwiched between Route 202 and SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale Line. As a result the trail provides a low stress non-motorized connection between the corridor's office complexes, retail establishments, residential developments and parks.
Chester County now is looking to expand further west. Design work to extend the tail up to the crossing of the Exton Bypass will begin next year. Meanwhile Montgomery County is part way through design for the four mile connection to the Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center. Construction is expected to start in 2015. The Circuit Coalition will be hosting a walk through the future trail alignment on October 18. Bring your camera to take some before shots so you can brag that you walked it first.
Four months after completion, the Chester Valley Board of Commissioners and the Friends of the Chester Valley Trail will be celebrating the Grand Opening of Phase II of the Chester Valley Trail on Monday, May 5th at 5 PM at 1055 Westlakes Drive in BerwynThe opneing will include a trail preview, remarks by the Chester County Commissioners and other guests, and an official ribbon cutting.
The trail now extends from the Valley Forge/King of Prussia area all the way to Exton. Future phases of the trail will continue to extend the trail eastwards towards Norristown and westwards towards Downington, providing a vital multi-use artery through the heart of Chester County.
If interested in attending, RSVP by Thursday, May 1st to the Chester County Commissioners Office ([email protected]; 610-344-6100)
See the attached flyer for more details.
The Chester County Commissioners have issued a press release announcing the official opening of Phase 2 of the Chester Valley Trail from the Wegman's in Malvern to Old Eagle School Road in Tredyffrin Township. This new section increases the continuous length of the trail to 11 miles.
The easternmost section of Phase 2 from Old Eagle School to Warner Road is still officially closed and is considered an active construction zone. This closure may continue until the completion of the Warner Road Trailhead, which would be the likely site for what we hope is a springtime ribbon cutting. When opened, this section will connect the just-opened trail to the existing 1-mile stretch in King of Prussia. Biking to the mall will have never been easier!
The press release also mentioned the start of construction of Phase 3 in March. This will extend the west end of the trail from Exton Park to another stub section of the Chester Valley Trail at Iron Lake Rd. If all goes as planned that section of trail will be opened by this time next year.
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Brandywine Tour - September 1st
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Cooper River - September 7th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Scenic Schuylkill Century - September 8th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Chester Valley Trail - September 21st
Circuit Commitment Campaign Talk at TTF Meeting - September 24th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Bucks County - September 28th
Delaware River Heritage Trail Ribbon Cutting - September 8th
Delaware River Heritage Ride - September 8th
Cynwyd Heritage Trail Planting Prep - September 14th
Discover the Hidden River at Gray's Ferry Crescent - September 20-22nd
Millennium Bridge Lighting Ceremony on Schuylkill Banks - September 26th
Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Moonrise Kingdom - September 5th
Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 5th
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tours - September 5th-28th
Schuylkill Riverboat Tour to Bartram's Garden - September 8th
Basic Schuylkill River Kayak Tours - September 8th
Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Rocky - September 12th
Schuylkill Riverboat to Bartram's Garden - September 14th
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st
Moonlight Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st
Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 21st
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 28th
Early Bird Rate for Cycles & Cemeteries Ride - September 5th
Delaware River Heritage Trail Ride - September 8th
Cycles and Cemeteries Ride - September 21st
West Laurel Hill Woof Walk - September 21st
Get Your Tail on the Trail - September 28th
2013 Philly Fun Fishing Fest - September 7th
Trust 5K Walk/Run on the D&L - September 7th
Dance on Falls Bridge - September 7th
Friends of Schuylkill Bank Soiree - September 14th
2013 Pennsylvania Greenways and Trail Summit - September 15-17th
Cobbs Creek Trail pre-proposal RFP meeting - September 12th
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 an update on the status of how the Chester Valley Trail will traverse Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County to connect to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown.
Secondly, the alignment of the Phase 2 segment has changed. The trail will continue along Saulin Road and then south on Henderson Road to go under the Turnpike and meet up with Hansen Access Road. It will continue along Hansen Road to meet up with the existing trail at So. Gulph Road.
The original alignment of the section south of the Turnpike was envisioned by Montgomery County Planning Deparment to use a 1/2 mile easement parallel to the Turnpike, along Hansen Access Road. After a meeting held between the Bicycle Coalition and the Turnpike Authority on April 19th, we learned that the Turnpike Authority is not legally able to make easements, although it can provide leases. The Montgomery County Planning office is considering its options with how to put a trail along Hansen Road. This segment will be paid for using Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds.
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.
In early August, Montgomery County's commissioners approved a $17 Million Open Space budget. The budget includes $3.836 million to pay for design, construction or acquisition of several county trail projects, including:
Chester Valley Trail
Schuylkill River Trail