Bryan Hanes and Kim Douglas presented final plans for the Cynwyd Trail at a public meeting. The next step for Lower Merion Township is to refine cost estimates for approval by the town's Commissioners. LMT Assistant Director of Building and Planning Chris Leswing expects to break ground on the paved path by the end of the year.
A couple of days earlier, Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners issued a final decision on O'Neill Property Group's proposed Righter's Ferry project, an 580 apartments +
Mr. O'Neill's lawyer is appealling that part of the decision to provide public pedestrian access on the Penncoyd Bridge. As described in the Main Line Times article, "Because O’Neill is using access via the bridge to public transit within 1,500 feet to get both density and parking bonuses, the board found that the developer must provide pedestrian access for the general public, not only apartment tenants." Michael Weilbacher of the Lower Merion Conservancy opined later last week that "This project will bring hundreds of people to the Schuylkill’s edge. Great. What the project also does right is allow the Schuylkill River Trail to ramble across its front door, people like you and me coming to hike its length, connecting from there to the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and Flat Rock Park in Gladwyne....As advocates for the evolving trail system, we urge O’Neill to accept this condition."
While far from over, the Board of Commissioners' decision to require public access over the Penncoyd Bridge is a huge victory for Completing the Trail. The Commissioners deserve a hearty congratulations for showing fortitude and vision and we commend Chris Leswing and the Friends of Cynwyd Trail for moving this exciting set of trail projects forward.