As the new year approaches, plenty of people will probably resolve to exercise and get outside more often. For those who live close to greenways like the Schuylkill River Trail, or who can jog along the Pennypack and Perkiomen creeks, that’s easy. For those who don’t have access to parks and paths, it might demand more.
But what if you could run from Trenton to Philadelphia? Or scooter from Philadelphia to Reading? Or bike from Allentown down to the Atlantic City Expressway in South Jersey?
That’s the goal of the Circuit Trails Coalition, which is campaigning for 500 miles of walkable, bikeable trails in and around this region by 2025.
The circuit was formally announced in 2012 and implemented into the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s transportation infrastructure plan, with the eventual goal of building and maintaining 800 continuous miles of trail by 2040. Since then, hundreds of miles have been constructed. Because it serves as both a transportation network and a recreation system, the coalition’s partnerships span a variety of organizations: Bartram’s Garden, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and more.
“The idea is that from anywhere in the region, you would be able to get to anywhere else in the region,” said John Boyle, research director at the Bicycle Coalition.