Regional Bike Trail System Unveiled

 

Mayor Nutter introduces The Circuit May 31 2012

Mayor Nutter introduces The Circuit May 31 2012 | Photo: Mike Szilagyi

What started in the 1970s as a two-and-a-half mile bike path demonstration project has grown slowly but steadily since that time, and was today recognized by mayors Nutter of Philadelphia and Dana Redd of Camden and other officials as an essential regional trail network with one all-encompassing new name: The Circuit.

1979 Schuylkill River Trail Groundbreaking

1979 Schuylkill River Trail Groundbreaking. Trail architect Jim Campbell (r).

At a press conference on Schuylkill Banks in Center City, officials praised the many benefits that trails bring to their constituents and their communities, not the least of which are recreation, healthy alternative transportation, and economic development. Part of a $10 million dollar grant by the William Penn Foundation specifically awarded for trail design, development, and construction was used to develop The Circuit’s interactive web site, which you can find HERE.

With 250 miles of trail complete and another 50 miles in progress, what’s ultimately envisioned is a 750-mile non-motorized transportation network spanning the entire tri-state area.

Photo: Rob Lybeck

What’s the price tag for such an ambitious plan? How about less than one percent of what the region spends on highway and transit capital spending each year. If funded at that one percent level on a consistent basis, in 25 years the 750 mile trail network would be a reality. As Sarah Clark Stuart, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s campaign director puts it, the investment “would leave our children and future generations with an incredible inheritance.”

About the author

Mike Szilagyi was born in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia, and raised in both Logan and what was the far edge of suburbia near Valley Forge. He found himself deeply intrigued by both the built landscape and by the natural “lay of the land.” Where things really get interesting is the fluid, intricate, multi-layered interface between the two.

Send a message!



3 Comments


  1. Whoa, this exists?! Awesome!

  2. A lot of the trail network exists, but there’s still much work to be done. Critical gaps still need to be completed. The Connect the Circuit web site includes information on how each of us can help make that happen.

    http://connectthecircuit.org/

  3. The entire press conference can be viewed here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK972Ti0gy0

    It is indeed gratifying to see so many prominent politicians speak so enthusiastically about the value of trails.

Recent Posts
Report: Philly Lead Exposure Greater Than Flint

Report: Philly Lead Exposure Greater Than Flint

February 5, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Contextualizing the Philly lead exposure numbers, L&I moves to make demolition permit process more efficient, building a stealth tower by-right, and 20 units for starving artists coming to West Philadelphia > more

Naming The Nameless On Lincoln Drive

Naming The Nameless On Lincoln Drive

February 5, 2016  |  Vantage

An eye-catching installation of t-shirts on Lincoln Drive aims to give a name to each of the victims of the city's gun violence. Brad Maule visits the historic Unitarian Society of Germantown and soaks in a heavy and cathartic experience > more

After Trade, Bourse Business Model To Tempt Techies

After Trade, Bourse Business Model To Tempt Techies

February 4, 2016  |  Morning Blend

New owners to position Bourse building as tech start-up magnet, the PR game that Temple needs to play for its stadium, Mt. Airy USA’s Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub to launch tonight, and a post-storm sneckdown breakdown > more

Breaking Through Historic Preservation's Color Line

Breaking Through Historic Preservation’s Color Line

February 4, 2016  |  Developing Challenges, Vantage

Diversity in preservation is a tricky thing. When cultural history speaks more for a building than architecture merit ears often go deaf. Hidden City co-editor Michael Bixler sits down with All That Philly Jazz director Faye Anderson to discuss landmarking the former home of Malcolm X and the precarious nature of protecting Philadelphia's built African-American heritage > more

CDR Blasts

CDR Blasts “Amateurish” Design For Callowhill Mixed-Use

February 3, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Civic Design Review committee dismisses Callowhill mixed-use proposal, work on The Beacon begins at 16th & Walnut, Richard Allen memorialized on USPS stamp, and NextFab’s open studio sessions winding down > more

Restoring The Hale Building — Patina And All

Restoring The Hale Building — Patina And All

February 2, 2016  |  Morning Blend

Hale Building update, Bethel Burying Ground added to National Register of Historic Places, and Spring Garden warehouse to receive addition > more