Nutter, Bicycle Coalition Unveil ‘The Circuit’
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and others, including the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia today launched a campaign to celebrate the greater Philadelphia region’s bicycle trails and trip-planning website, which they are calling The Circuit.
The Circuit is a series of bicycle and walking trails in places like Philadelphia, Camden, Downingtown, Doylestown, Chester and elsewhere in the region, 250 miles of which are currently open. Their construction is being funded in part of a TIGER Grant received by Philadelphia and Camden in 2010, and the William Penn Foundation. The TIGER Grant doled out a total of $23 million, about $17 million of which was given to Philadelphia to work on the Schuylkill River Trail and other paths, seven in total.
Mayor Nutter noted the name, The Circuit, “is really a name that fits because it speaks to the connections of our communities,” which are linked by rivers and parks and what have you.
He also noted urban-suburban trails like these make the city stronger, more sustainable and more attractive to incoming businesses. Nutter, then may need to invest in “some new walking shoes, or just eventually buy a bike,” he said.
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams spoke as well, noting walking trails like these don’t just connect the city to the suburbs, but the city to the city; people from neighborhoods that would otherwise never run into each other do so on bikes. He also made a fat joke, about himself.
In total, the more than dozen organizers of the Circuit coalition hope for more than 750 miles of trail on The Circuit. It’s estimated, organizers said, that more than 19,000 bicycle and walking trips are made along the Schuylkill River Trail and Kelly Drive each week. A website affiliated with the group, ConnectTheCircuit.org, allows users to map out a safe route before going on a bike or walk around the city. After having used the site, though, I can safely say some trips it gives you will be safer than others. But that’s city biking.