Much of the following is taken from a recent post from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's, Bicycle News.
In late October, the Delaware Valley Region Planning Commission awarded $5.2 million through Phase I of its Regional Trails Program. This grant program is funded by $10 Million from the William Penn Foundation, and provided money to eighteen projects around the 9 county Delaware Valley region. However, of those eighteen projects, only two are in New Jersey and account for only $373,000 of the $5.2 million awarded, less than 7.2% of the grant money available. While this money is available equally to counties and municipalities in both states, the massive bias towards Pennsylvania is because New Jersey communities are simply not applying for the grants. According to John Boyle of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, "New Jersey communities are failing to come forward and apply for money to build trails in the past few years. Kudos to Camden County/Coopers Ferry Partnership and Mercer County/Friends of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail for taking the opportunity to expand their trail networks."
These initiatives include both trail design and trail construction in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They extend existing trails, including the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville, the Chester Valley Trail near Exton, and the East Coast Greenway in Tullytown. They connect the existing and planned elements of the regional trail network to neighborhoods through projects like the Baldwin's Run Tributary Trail in Camden and the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail in Lawrence. Finally, these grants support several landmark projects, including the Manayunk Bridge Trail that will provide a cross-river connection between Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township and serve as a destination for bikers and walkers from across the region.
The awards to trail projects include:
- Reading to Hamburg Schuylkill River Trail Gap (Leesport section) – $142,630 (design and construction) – Berks County
- Big Woods/Schuylkill-Hopewell Furnace Trail – $500,000 (construction – Phase 1, survey – Phase 2) – Berks and Chester Counties – Berks County
- Neshaminy Creek Greenway (Phase I) -- $130,148 (construction) – Bucks County
- US Route 13 Crossing – $471,000 (construction) – Bucks County
- Baldwin’s Run Tributary Trail – $150,000 (design) – Camden County
- Chester Valley Trail Phase III – $500,000 (construction) – Chester County
- Phoenixville Schuylkill River Trail Segment – Phase I -- $285,000 (design and construction) – Chester County
- Darby Creek Trail -- $290,000 (construction) – Delaware County
- Lawrence-Hopewell Trail: Lewisville Road Section -- $248,000 (construction) – Mercer County
- Chester Valley Trail Extension – $325,000 (construction) – Montgomery County
- Canal Towpath Spillway Bridge – $170,000 (construction) – Montgomery County
- Tacony Frankford Greenway Trail – $500,000 (construction) – Philadelphia
- Penn Street Trail – $500,000 (design and construction) – Philadelphia
- Schuylkill Crossing at Grays Ferry – $260,000 (preliminary design) – Philadelphia
In addition, the DVRPC Board today approved $125,000 in funding for Camden County’s Kaighn’s Avenue to Route 130 Connector Trail. This project was one of four “early action” projects originally approved for $50,000 of funding in July 2011. The grant has since been revised to $125,000. The other three early action projects were:
- Manayunk Bridge -- $400,000 (design) – Philadelphia
- Spring Garden Street Greenway – $75,000 (design) – Philadelphia
- Schuylkill South -- $165,000 (acquisition for future extension of waterfront trail) – Philadelphia