The Circuit: Greater Philadelphia’s Extraordinary Trail Network
Publication Date: 5/31/2012
Today, the William Penn Foundation joined with a broad coalition
of non-profit organizations and public sector representatives, including the Mayors of
Philadelphia and Camden, to officially introduce The Circuit
- a regional
network of trails and connections providing unprecedented mobility and access
to pedestrians and bikers.
The announcement took place on a beautiful late spring afternoon on in Center City Philadelphia at the Schuylkill Banks, one of the key components of The Circuit.
The growing system of trails across the region continues to
energize communities on both sides of the Delaware River by connecting more
neighborhoods, helping businesses thrive, and providing inexpensive ways for
residents to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy. The trail network has the potential
to become a prized regional amenity that connects people to jobs, outdoor
recreation, shopping destinations, schools, and transit.
As part of the campaign, trail users can visit www.connectthecircuit.org for
detailed trail information, including maps and interactive route planning.
The effort to complete The Circuit is funded by a $10
million WPF grant, continuing the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the
region’s active transportation infrastructure. Since 1992, WPF has invested
nearly $33 million in a variety of regional trail efforts, most of which are now encompassed by The Circuit.
The Circuit Coalition partners released the following
Coalition Announces “The Circuit,” a World-Class Network of
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Accompanied with a New Web-Based Trail Mapping System
private sector collaboration is a smart investment in transportation networks
PHILADELPHIA—(May 31, 2012)—The newly
formed Circuit Coalition today announced its campaign to enhance an existing
system of pedestrian and bike trails and to complete an extensive trail network
connecting the Greater Philadelphia region. The trail network, recently
dubbed “The Circuit” following a region-wide naming contest, includes
interconnected trails from southern New Jersey
to central Pennsylvania.
Along with the campaign launch, the Circuit Coalition unveiled a new state-of-the-art
website that will allow bicyclists and pedestrians to map out safe routes
before embarking on rides or walks.
The “Connect the Circuit” campaign,
which represents unprecedented foundation, government, non-profit, and private
sector collaboration, is designed to accelerate the process of connecting
existing trails to one another and building new trails to fill in key
gaps. Over the past two years, the regional trail effort has gained
significant momentum following a $23.2 million TIGER grant from the U.S.
Department of Transportation for trail construction, $5 million in federal
stimulus funding for the Chester Valley Trail, and a $10 million grant from the
William Penn Foundation toward trail construction and planning for dozens of
trail projects throughout the nine-county region.
complete, the Circuit will be one of the signature features of Greater
Philadelphia - the nation’s finest trail network, providing non-motorized
access from the Appalachian Trail to the Atlantic Ocean,”
said Jeremy Nowak, president of the William Penn Foundation, a major
funder of the project. “It will become one of the signature hallmarks that make
Greater Philadelphia unique.”
The private and public sector are
working together to advance this network of trails that when
connected, will be the nation's most comprehensive metropolitan trail
system. The Circuit will make it possible for a person to bike or walk on
trails all day long whether going north, south, east or west from anywhere in
the Delaware Valley. Currently, the
longest stretch of trails within the circuit measures 44 miles along the
Schuylkill River Trail.
In addition to providing a
cost-effective way to promote physical activity and enhance healthy lifestyles,
the network could connect people to jobs, outdoor recreation, shopping
destinations, schools, public transportation and other neighborhoods
across the region.
The 17-organization Circuit Coalition
includes leading non-profits as well as government and public agencies such as
the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the region's primary
transportation-funding agency. The Coalition has also gained critical
support from private sector partners that value the trail network.
"Connecting the Circuit of trails in our region makes the Greater
Philadelphia region a stronger, smarter, and more sustainable urban and
suburban environment that attracts new companies and employers who choose to
base their operations here,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
“Investing in trails will help grow and strengthen the region in addition
to connecting it together."
Added Camden Mayor Dana Redd: "The
Camden GreenWay will join the Circuit of trails connecting our residents to
riverfronts, open space, regional job opportunities, and transportation
alternatives, adding to the collective strength of the Greater Philadelphia
In conjunction with the “Connect the Circuit” campaign, the Coalition has
launched an accompanying website – www.connectthecircuit.org – that will allow residents and visitors to
access maps and plan bike rides, walks, and other outdoor activities using
safe, local trails. The site will feature a social networking component,
encouraging users to share their favorite routes and to join the conversation
about the need to complete the bi-state trail network.
David D’Alba, 31, a resident of the Fairmount
section of Philadelphia,
is a videographer at Urban Engineers who helped name the Circuit in a contest
sponsored by the coalition. He is a life-long cyclist who loves the region and
decided that he could “name” the trail system.
"As a child, I used to ride these
trails for fun. Today, I tow my daughter along one of these trails as part of
my commute to work. I hope as she gets older, and the Circuit becomes more
complete, she too will have the opportunity to enjoy these trails on her
commute no matter where she works or lives."
About the Circuit Coalition
The Circuit Coalition is a collaboration of non-profit
organizations, foundations and agencies working to advance completion of a
connected network of trails – The Circuit – in the Greater Philadelphia region.
The Circuit Coalition's goal is to raise the profile of trails and their
public benefits so that building The Circuit becomes a significant regional
Sarah Stuart - email@example.com 215-546-1222
Spencer Finch - firstname.lastname@example.org 267-266-0539
Chris Linn - email@example.com 215-238-2873