If you live in Camden County, the county is requesting your input on their newly-released bike and trail plan.
The Camden County Division of Planning has posted a draft of its Bicycle and Multi-Use Trails Master Plan, and is requesting public comment via phone or e-mail. The plan was authored by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and is built upon the 2009 Central Camden County Bicycle and Multi-Use Trails plan. The Camden County Planning Department will integrate the plan into the larger Master Plan with the goal of County adoption in the fall.
The plan envisions a network of 505 miles of bikeways including:
- 205 miles of bike lanes
- 173 miles of shared use paths (including 39 miles of designated Circuit trails)
- 127 miles of recommended bicycle routes (signed or marked bicycle routes)
The cost estimate for building out the whole network is $79 million dollars. That may cause sticker shock for some, but to put the price in perspective, the Pennsauken Transit Center cost $40 million to complete. And the I-295/676/42 interchange project will cost at least $900 million.
And unlike those projects, the proposed bike network will be created incrementally as roads are repaired and the rights of way for trails are acquired.
This measured approach to plan implementation will still require a concerted effort. Over the past 20 years the region has collected many a bike plan that has withered on the shelf. The handful of plans that have been partially implemented (Philadelphia, Voorhees Township, West Windsor Township) had the backing of elected officials and either an active advisory committee or a strong advocacy effort.
Camden County’s recent adoption of a complete streets policy, and the recent installation of new bike lanes, suggests there exists a semblance of pro-bicycle political will. But in the end it will be the voices of county residents that determine how bicycle-friendly Camden County becomes over the next 20 years.