This past June Montgomery County Parks opened the first phase of the Pennypack Trail which runs from Robbins Ave in Rockledge to the RR bridge adjacent to Old Huntingdon Pike in Abington.
Pennypack Trail Brochure
Phase two will rehabilitate the RR bridge to make it passable for bicycles and bring the trail to Huntington Pike where it will connect to the proposed Lower Moreland Greenway. Montgomery County's goal is the connect the trail formally with the Pennypack Bikeway in Philadelphia with the Cross County Trail near Byberry Rd in Bryn Athyn. Bucks County is currently developing a county bicycle plan which should clarify their intentions for this corridor.
This conflict between rail and trail has splintered smart transportation advocates across the country and in the transportation scheme of things, has us fighting for the leftover crumbs. As we often argue when trails are pitted against other interests, it is not an issue of us vs them but how we can all coexist.
BCGP Position Statement - R8 Newtown Branch Rail Restoration
Passenger rail lines and non-motorized trails are complimentary elements of transportation infrastructure that reduces automobile usage. We support the creation of a rail trail along the Newtown Branch to improve bicycle travel, preserve the right of way and to prevent encroachment of adjacent property owners. We believe that there is sufficient right of way available to support both future rail service and maintain trail usage. If there is insufficient right of way within the corridor to do both, then a relocation or rerouting of the trail to preserve the non-motorized route is necessary. We also believe that stations and trains should be designed with bicycle access in mind with sufficient covered bicycle parking and bicycle storage space on new rail cars.
We will support future rail restoration as long as:
- The Newtown Branch Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail is preserved; and
- If stations and trains are optimized for easy bicycle access.
Originally uploaded by Philly Bike Coalition