Coalition rolls out support for trail connections, extensions
On this sun-washed day in Philadelphia, the proof was in the pedaling.
At least for DCNR Deputy Secretary John Giordano, who relied on his favorite transportation mode to reach a press conference announcing a new coalition committed to extending bicycle and pedestrian trails and pathways in five Pennsylvania counties and four New Jersey counties.
“I often ride my bike in Philadelphia and, in fact, I got rid of my car and now use my bike as my primary means of transportation in town,” Giordano said, speaking at the May 31 roll-out of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia and its website, www.ConnectTheCircuit.org, where bicyclists and walkers can plan trips using current trails and streets.
“I even biked here today, and went to ConnectTheCircuit.org to look at planning my trip,” the Deputy Secretary told the group gathered along the Schuylkill River.
DCNR Deputy Secretary John Giordano speaks in support of a new coalition committed to extending bicycle and pedestrians trails and pathways in five Pennsylvania counties and four New Jersey counties.
Giordano joined Philadelphia and New Jersey officials and regional planning and environmental representatives in supporting the growth of 750 miles of trails over the next 20 years in the Philadelphia region. Dubbed “The Circuit,” the network will link Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Mercer, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. Longest of the trails within the circuit now measures 44 miles.
“I want to emphasize the importance of the partnerships that led to this launch,” said Giordano. “The teaming together of the cities, state, non-profit organizations, foundations, and agencies are what made this all possible.”
Coalition members and supporters include DCNR, the cities of Philadelphia and Camden, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Bartram’s Garden, the Clean Air Council, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Schuylkill River Park Alliance, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and the William Penn Foundation.
“The Commonwealth is a national trails leader, and its growing system of trails across our region is energizing communities,” Giordano said. “Today we unveil a premier system. A system designed to further drive visitation, tourism, and economic growth, while promoting the health and social benefits of outdoor activity.
“This vision, this investment, hits the triple bottom line—improving environmental quality, neighborhood economic value, and the social fabric of our communities on both sides of the Delaware River.”
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