Improving Circuit Trails Accessibility in Delaware County

by | March 4, 2022 | News, Biking the Region, Connecting Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Network, The Circuit | 0 comments

The Delaware County Planning Department recently announced that they’re working on a Bicycle Network planning project to improve locations throughout the county for cyclists and trail enthusiasts. The planning department is partnering with Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to develop conceptual plans for bicycle network improvements that will increase accessibility of trails by connecting local trailheads to nearby neighborhood amenities with low-stress bike facilities. 

The county has not picked the locations yet, and they want to hear from stakeholders to help in the decision-making process. The county will use stakeholders’ feedback to help inform which locations will be studied further. See the trailhead access improvement map and detailed instructions here. The feedback period is expected to close in less than two weeks from today (March 4), so we encourage you to submit your feedback soon!

Which Trailheads Need On-Street Bicycle Connections?

You’ll notice the county is asking for connections to trailheads that are “most in need.” Trailheads in need of on-street-bicycle connections include:

  • locations that are not easily accessible for local communities
  • locations that could connect to nearby trails, and
  • trailheads that could see an increase in ridership with on-street enhancements.

For reference on how to prioritize trailhead access in areas of high need, see the MontCo Trail Access, Diversity, and Awareness Plan, as well as The Circuit Trails Equity of Access research. Both plans emphasize how important access to trails is for historically disinvested-from communities, in order for the trail network to reach its full potential. In particular, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has developed Indicators of Potential Disadvantage to help planners look at where investment is most needed.

Per the guidance from these documents and analysis, the Delaware County Action Team is providing three locations below where we are recommending that the county improve safe access to the trailheads, connecting communities to the Circuit Trails and the East Coast Greenway (but of course there are many more trailheads in need of improvements).

The Delaware County Action Team’s Recommended Locations & Access to the Map:

1) Cobbs Creek Trail at 70th St / Church Ln and Cobbs Pkwy: this is a dangerous intersection in need of much safer crossings and trail access for cyclists and pedestrians alike, as identified in DVRPC’s Improving Safety and Stormwater along Cobbs Creek Parkway: 60th Street to 70th Street 

2) Tinicum Twp at the John Heinz southern entrance on PA-420: there is currently no bicycle or pedestrian facility to connect trail users from Prospect Park or across the cloverleaf interchange to the rest of Tinicum Township, making over 10 miles of trail in the refuge only accessible by vehicle at this entrance. 

3) City of Chester Riverfront Trail at Norris St: major improvements are needed to make access safer and more inviting along Norris St and on PA-291, where the East Coast Greenway is planned for improved safety across and along 291.

Your advocacy helps advance our efforts to connect our communities and to improve safety and accessibility of the trails. As the feedback period is expected to end shortly, we urge you to take action today and submit your feedback to advance the connections to the Circuit Trails network and the East Coast Greenway.

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