Friday, January 09, 2004

Two States, Two Trails, Two Turnpikes?

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been a part of a concerted effort to convince the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to add a pedestrian/bicycle pathway on a new proposed south span of the the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge, part of the I-95/Pa Turnpike Interchange Project which would connect the existing Delaware Canal with the Delaware River Heritage Trail (in design).

The FHWA has released their Record of Decision which gives the PA Turnpike the go ahead to start designing the project. The ROD elaborates on the possibility of a bike/ped facility but basically said NO (as expected) but they may reconsider if certain conditions are met. That's an improvement from never ever. Construction is not expected until after 2012, so as we learned in the Shawshank Redemption "Time and Pressure" is all you need.

The letters of support the Turnpike Commission got were tremendous from both states . In particular from DCNR and NJDOT as well as State Rep. Charles McIlhinney. The Record of Decision notes that 48 additional letters were received: "A majority of these commenters requested the evaluation of a bicycle/pedestrian facility for the proposed new additional Delaware River Turnpike Bridge"

Thanks to everyone who wrote to the PA Turnpike Commission