On Sunday January 21 -a rare day this winter with mild temps- I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of dedicated cycling advocates from lower Montgomery County. On a day much better suited to being outdoors, we discussed how to connect Narberth Borough and Lower Merion Township with the Cynwyd Heritage Trail (CHT) via existing low stress streets that would be ideal for even a beginning cyclist.
Making this connection a reality would mean that cyclists in Narberth and Lower Merion would be able to safely access the CHT for recreation as well as transportation, as from there one can ride all the way to Manayunk or even Center City while staying almost exclusively on trails. This would be a major victory for advocates of Vision Zero as well, as increasing active transportation options for suburban commuters can help get cars off the road while providing increased safety in numbers for cyclists.
This brainstorming session was made possible by BCGP’s new initiative known as TASCC: Technical Assistance for Suburban Circuit Communities. The main goal of TASCC is to get more communities safely connected to Circuit trails, of which the CHT is a segment. If the Narberth/Lower Merion project moves forward, it will be the first pilot project for TASCC.
We started the session by visiting DVRPC’s Low Stress Streets (LTS) website (the roll-out of which we covered in a previous blog post), where we found several low stress routes. Next we “ground truthed” the data with the cycling experiences of our local advocates, and eventually found an alignment that would provide maximum safety, community connectivity, and a lovely ride for local cyclists.
Next, we (somehow with five small children playing in the adjoining room) brainstormed on how many community groups and local decision makers we could invite to join us for our project info session brunch in Narberth on February 11th.
Do you live in Narberth or Lower Merion and are interested in joining us? Click on “brunch” above!