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.



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
Of Birds And Drinking Water

Of Birds And Drinking Water

October 21, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Inside the East Park Reservoir, Temple students adopting blocks, UCD to start early on 40th Street plaza, and Jewish life gets a boost at Penn > more

Preservation Alliance Launches

Preservation Alliance Launches “Places To Save” List

October 20, 2014  |  Buzz

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia reboots their annual "Endangered Properties" list with new "Places to Save" announcements > more

Bless Our Beer Gardens, Past and Present

Bless Our Beer Gardens, Past and Present

October 20, 2014  |  Behind the Facade

Drinking al fresco reached new heights this summer as brilliantly designed beer gardens popped up all over the city. This isn't anything new though, says Nic Esposito. Philadelphia has been publicly drunk since 1671 > more

Old City Orange Façade To Be Preserved

Old City Orange Façade To Be Preserved

October 20, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Historical Commission okays Old City development, the emblematic stairway at the Barnes, Blatstein serious yet anxious about The Provence, 10 homes for NoLibs, and a salvaged cornice delights in Fishtown > more

The Tombstone Wall Of Society Hill

The Tombstone Wall Of Society Hill

October 17, 2014  |  Vantage

With October at hand and Halloween on the way, we thought a series on historic cemeteries was most appropriate. Our first story presents the strange tale of thirty tombstones that sit embedded in the back wall of the Presbyterian Historical Society > more

Existential Tug-Of-War Along West Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Existential Tug-Of-War Along West Cecil B. Moore Avenue

October 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

The identity crisis of TempleTown, Family Court opens, artist space coming to Grays Ferry, mixed-use for Ridge, inside the Bok storage facility, and PhillyU collects $60M > more