In early March, bicyclists and walkers from around the country convened in Washington DC to advocate for policies and laws that would improve bicycling and walking in cities, towns and rural areas across America. Bicycle and walking advocates from the Philadelphia/Camden region met with the staff of Congressional representatives and Senators to thank them for supporting the TIGER application that resulted in a $23 million award to the region for 10 multi-use path trails. We hand delivered copies of the petition which has been signed by over 4000 persons declaring their support for Completing the Trails.
Now is your opportunity to send a letter to your Congressional Representative and Senators Specter and Casey to ask for their support of 2011 Appropriation Requests that have been submitted to their offices. Hearing from you will demonstrate that there is widespread public support for Completing the Trail and will encourage them to support funding these 8 different trail segments, including: 58th Street Greenway, Gray's Ferry Crossing, West Bank Schuylkill River Connector, Wissahickon Gateway, Ivy Ridge Trail, Manayunk Bridge, Spring Garden Avenue and the Bristol Delaware Riverfront Greenway, all of which are on this map.
The recent TIGER award that Philadelphia and Camden received to build 10 new trail segments was made possible because the Bicycle Coalition worked with Pennsylvania Environmental Council to help the City of Philadelphia and five other surrounding counties submit a $36 million application for stimulus funding in September 2009.
The application proposed to complete a number of sections of the Schuylkill River Trail in Schuylkill, Montgomery, Philadelphia counties, in addition to trail segments along the East Coast Greenway in Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware County, and the Camden GreenWay. Only the Philadelphia and Camden segments received funding.
This award exemplifies the kind of strategic advocacy that the Bicycle Coalition can provide to move the region forward to achieving the goal of Completing the Schuylkill River Trail.
To learn more about the status of the various trail segments and upcoming public meeting and other events, visit www.connectthecircuit.org.
Under the leadership of the Bicycle Coalition's trail advocate Sarah Clark Stuart, the Bicycle Coalition has been instrumental in gathering a coalition of trail and community groups who want to complete the Schuylkill River Trail.But it is going to take many more months of work, many more meetings with officials and partners, and more research to find local funds to supply the required match of federal dollars.
For Sarah to continue her work to complete the Schuylkill River Trail, to build the needed coalition of community groups and individual supporters like you, we need your membership support. We have a foundation grant to pay many of the campaign expenses but we need support from you to put us over the top.
You pay every time you drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike or cross the Ben Franklin Bridge. You pay every time you board a SEPTA train or bus. If you paid a $2.50 toll every time you rode on the Schuylkill River Trail, how much would that add up to?