Friday, May 28, 2010

Manayunk Canal Update and Suggested Detour

The Philadelphia Water Department's contractor has completed installation of the 1st section of sewer liner adjacent to the Towpath. The Canal Towpath will be opened up to pedestrian & bike traffic tomorrow morning, through the long Holiday weekend.

The Towpath will once again be closed starting next Tuesday morning (June 1st) for the installation of the second section. It is anticipated that the path will remain closed through Friday, June 4th.

Some trail users have been less than civil with construction crews. It started with those not paying attention to any of the posted signs. Some were confrontational when the workers attempted to tell them that the path was closed others just walked their bikes through the construction zone. In addition, the contractor noted that on several occasions when he discovered that the sign he’d posted at Locke Street had been thrown into the canal.

This is truly behavior that trail users (mostly cyclists) should not be displaying. We understand the frustration of suddenly coming upon a trail closure but to take this out on people just trying to earn a living is just plain wrong and for us embarrassing.

On the other hand this is another example of why a citywide detour policy is needed. A closure on the Schuylkill River Trail is worthy of closure and detour signs miles in advance. Imagine driving on I-76 and suddenly coming upon "Road Closed" signs. A KYW traffic advisory and a SmarTraveler traffic alert should be seriously considered.

For a detour from Manayunk take the towpath to the Fountain Street Bridge (the red bridge) and turn right up the path before the bridge. Turn right on Fountain which becomes steps and walk up to Umbria St. Turn left on Umbria to Shawmont Ave/Minerva St and make the sharp left down to Nixon St in Shawmont.

View Canal Towpath Closure in a larger map


dwoo said...

Arrogant cyclists are just as mean and nasty as arrogant drivers and other arrogant, self-centered people. All this animosity isn't a bicyclist against pedestrian, against driver thing. It's about self-entitled jerks who don't care about anyone else but themselves. Being a jerk is intermodal too. It's not the mode of travel, it's the immaturity and selfishness of the person. When I run across them I don't condemn an entire demographic or population.

vectorizer said...

I appreciate these updates (via BCGB Facebook postings and Yahoo cycling group newsletters). Wouldn't know riding in from Oaks, it's nice to be prepared.

As to unpleasant cyclists, it seems like it's the norm on the suburban part of the trail, with a strong correlation between the speed of the cyclist and their unpleasantness. The worst part of riding to Philly is my fellow cyclists. :-(

Keith said...

On the River Road/Nixon/Shawmont intersection, the trail closure is signed reasonably clearly. There's no excuse for cyclists proceeding from that direction. I can't speak to how the closure is signed from the Manayunk side.

Now, here's a question: what city entity has ownership or jurisdiction of the Manayunk Canal towpath: the water department, what was formerly the Fairmount Park Commission, the Streets department, or something else? The reason I ask is, having a detour policy is something I'd expect as a core competency of the Streets department, and frankly, for all other city departments, I don't want them having a bureaucrat on payroll for such a task. I would argue that if you want this piece of the trail to be considered "for transportation" as opposed for recreation only, it should be managed by the Streets department. Is there a way to encourage the city to move the manayunk towpath to the streets department, or is there a good reason why this would be a bad idea?