Sunday, March 29, 2015

SW Philly adds 1.5-mile segment to region's trails

It connects Cobbs Creek Park and Bartram's Garden

SW Philly adds 1.5-mile segment to region's trails

Antwann Aubrey (left) and Nicholas Dudley of the Neighborhood Bike Works program lead a ceremonial ride to open the new trail section. In the background are Deshawn Davis (left) and Rayon Bausso.<br />
Antwann Aubrey (left) and Nicholas Dudley of the Neighborhood Bike Works program lead a ceremonial ride to open the new trail section. In the background are Deshawn Davis (left) and Rayon Bausso.

The region’s cyclists and other trail users have another segment to explore.

On Saturday, officials celebrated the opening of a 1.5-mile stretch of the 58th Street Greenway, which connects Cobbs Creek Park and Bartram's Garden in Southwest Philadelphia.

So now The Circuit — the region's developing trail network, with the goal of completing 750 miles of trails — is up to about 250 miles.

But back to the Greenway, which isn’t solely for bikes. This chunk of the trail system is praised as having significant improvements — safer intersections and pedestrian crossings, nicer sidewalks, better bus stops, and the addition of bike lanes.

Want to keep going? Try this: 12 new curb bumpouts, 32 new pedestrian countdown timers, and 40 new pedestrian-scaled lampposts as well as dozens of trail warning signs and pavement markings.

The trail also has a rain garden and tree trench to collect stormwater instead of letting it run off into nearby streams. About 75 new trees which were planted by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“The 58th Street Greenway is a very significant investment in Southwest Philadelphia that in direct response to residents’ requests dramatically enhances nighttime lighting, improves safety at crosswalks, and provides direct connections to important parks such as Cobbs Creek Park and Bartram's Garden,” said Patrick Starr, Executive Vice President for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, in a press release.

In addition to the council, other partners on this project are the neighborhood, the city Streets Department and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This project and six other trails were funded with $17 million awarded to the City of Philadelphia through the DOT’s TIGER program.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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