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
Widdy Dialect: The

Widdy Dialect: The “Hoagie” Of Darts

April 17, 2014  |  Makin' It

Under the rumbling El and amidst the hustle and bustle at Kensington and Somerset, a distinctly Philadelphian brand of darts is made the same way it has been for over 100 years—by hand. Brad Maule throws a round with Widdy Darts > more

New PWD Project To Teach Children Ecology & Technology

New PWD Project To Teach Children Ecology & Technology

April 17, 2014  |  Morning Blend

GreenSTEM systems to be installed in four schools, the inequality of urban pollution, jazz month in Philly, parklets being installed in West Philly, and terrible timing in closing Kensington store > more

A Last Look at Second Baptist Church

A Last Look at Second Baptist Church

April 16, 2014  |  Last Light

The demolition of a former house of worship in Northern Liberties has provided a glimpse into the building's history > more

PATCO Announces $7.5 System Upgrade

PATCO Announces $7.5 System Upgrade

April 16, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Clearer information and working escalators for PATCO, delays in UC student housing development, the William Penn Foundation’s new approach to safe watershed awareness, and what the Lower Northwest invented for the world > more

A Golden Glow For <em>The Inquirer's</em> Saffron

A Golden Glow For The Inquirer’s Saffron

April 15, 2014  |  News

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize board announced its 2014 winners. After 15 years with a watchful eye on Philadelphia's built environment, the Inquirer's Inga Saffron won journalism's highest award for criticism > more

Advocacy Group To Urge Lawmakers To End “Lingering” Zoning Variances

Advocacy Group To Urge Lawmakers To End “Lingering” Zoning Variances

April 15, 2014  |  Morning Blend

CDAG to work towards “reasonable sunset provisions” on waterfront development proposals, the promise of the Mantua Promise Zone, Charles Willson Peale and the revolutionary museum imperative, SEPTA to test all-night subway service this summer, and cherries blossoming in Chestnut Hill > more