Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Section of Schuylkill River Trail in Roxborough Opening March 28th

Note: a version of this post first appeared on Crossing Paths, the official blog of The Circuit trail system.

Spring is here, let The Circuit trail events begin!

At long last, the first new section of Schuylkill River Trail to be built in several years (and the newest piece of The Circuit) will be dedicated on Thursday, March 28 at 10:30am. This new segment runs from Port Royal Avenue in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia to the intersection of Shawmont and Nixon Streets.
Runners on the trail looking towards the Nixon & Shawmont intersection
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to feature many notable dignitaries: Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis.

If you like ribbon cuttings, dignitary-spotting, or just getting outside and being excited in public about new bicycle and pedestrian trails, please attend! The more the merrier.

This project involved using a PECO right-of-way behind Nixon Street, creating a gently sloping trail down to the intersection of Nixon and Shawmont. The project also widened the paved section between the Montco line and Port Royal Avenue and significantly improved the paved connection to the Manayunk Canal Towpath.

This project was originally identified by the Complete The Schuylkill River Trail Campaign as a key gap in the trail. It was funded in 2010 by the $23 million TIGER grant that Philadelphia and the City of Camden won to build ten trail segments in both cities.


Unknown said...

This was a section that is right next to a paved street in a quiet neighborhood. I would hope we could find better places to spend this money. If you are biking it is better to stay on the road as approaching the intersection at the bottom of this hill this path will put you on the wrong side of the street. Fix, widen, & pave the current trail before we add unnecessary sections like this, is my two cents.

Howard Hochheiser said...

I agree with Jim, it wasn't particularly necessary. Its a somewhat dangerous corner to be coming down a blind incline into traffic (bikes and/or cars may or may not stop as they should). The widening of the path from the Montco board to the start of this new section was very welcomed though.

emwatts said...

I'm excited to see the new path. That part of the trail was very confusing if you hadn't used it before or were not with someone who was familiar to how to connect the trail.

Sarah Clark Stuart said...

Ideally, trails should be off road when possible. Nixon street had pluses and minuses, but I don't believe it was ever viewed as the long term alignment for the Schuylkill River Trail. This section is an important segment for the long term. There is PECO/SEPTA right-of-way that continues across Shawmont (above grade) that connects with the Ivy Ridge station and the paved section that is being designed b/w the Manayunk Bridge and Ivy Ridge. Together all of those pieces will provide a much better paved alignment than using Umbria and Shawmont. Check out the map.

vectorizer said...

Best part of this was widening the trail from Montco line to previous end. It was getting dangerous with fast cyclists and broken pavement. I was excited to see the new section, thinking it went straight on the right-of-way, then really let down when it just went down to Nixon & Shawmont, where it will be awkward to cross on the wrong side of the street at a diagonal. Not sure it warrants a big group of politicians patting each other on the back. I'm happy for any improvement, but the new part is meh.

Another nice surprise was that the trail along the tow path was improved and bridges rebuilt for us non-athletes who prefer flat and slow to the hills on Umbria.

thatbmxguy said...
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marrong said...

Stop complaining. It is a beautiful trail.

Howard Hochheiser said...

Not a complaint, but feedback. Everyone LOVES all that was done with the exception of the trail dumping onto Shawmont. It is a somewhat dangerous design by most accounts, and we don't want to some day tell an injured cyclist to stop complaining.