The East Coast Greenway in Pennsylvania
By working with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, PEC is creating the Southeast PA segments of a pedestrian and bike path that will connect 2,500 miles of urban areas from Maine to Florida.
The East Coast Greenway, a 2,500 mile planned trail from Maine to Florida, enters Pennsylvania in Morrisville just across the river from Trenton, N.J. Currently, it follows PA Bike Route E for much of the route, passing through lower Bucks County, Philadelphia, and Delaware County, and then crossing into Delaware near Marcus Hook. PEC has taken a leadership role to ensure this entire 61-mile route is built as an off road trail that is accessible for all users along its route in Pennsylvania.
We are focusing on creating major trail segments throughout Bucks, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties. In Bucks county, PEC has created a master plan for the largest segment of trail, the Bensalem Greenway. Design work is currently underway for six segments of the greenway trail with a construction horizon in 2016.
In Philadelphia, we have targeted major challenging segments of the East Coast Greenway (ECG). A ribbon cutting was held in 2013 for the 58th Street Greenway segment of the ECG. We acquired funding and managed the project all the way through construction. Through work with neighborhood organizations, PEC was able to engage an underserved community with active living programs during the planning process. Likewise, we incorporated significant neighborhood input into the final design of the trail.
In central Philadelphia PEC is working diligently to create a cross-city link between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers along Spring Garden Street. In 2013, we released a plan for the Spring Garden Street Greenway, a trail down the center of Spring Garden Street. With stormwater management, pedestrian improvements, trees, improved traffic signals, and separated bicycle facilities, this would be Philadelphia’s greenest street. PEC is currently seeking funding to bring this concept into reality.
While the Delaware County trail segment is mostly on road at this time, we are actively working with county municipalities to plan for the Greenway’s future build. We recently helped fund a title search to determine if an abandoned rail road alignment was feasible. This alignment would be a major link through the city of Chester. PEC is engaged with local leaders to create trail access for Chester County residents in the near future.
The Greenway will be built based on public involvement and work with stakeholders including the: Bicycle Coalition, Philadelphia City Planning Commission; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Center City District, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Delaware River City Corporation, neighborhood groups, and many others.