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Delaware Valley Region Expanding Its Network of Hiking and Biking Trails

(The "Forbidden Drive" recreational trail in the Valley Green section of Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.  File photo)

(The “Forbidden Drive” recreational trail in the Valley Green section of Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. File photo)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are attempting to spur interest in completing a recreational trail network for the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions.

An “Active Transportation Summit” today attracted hiking and biking trail planners from all over the country. Keynote speaker Mia Birk helped transform Portland, Ore. into the bicycling mecca of the United States.

“We have thousands people every day using their bicycle as their main means of transportation,” she said.  “Actually about eight percent of people bike to work and about 18 percent of Portlanders ride their bikes for at least some trips.”

In our area, trail development is expected to take off this summer thanks to a $23-million federal grant.  Patrick Starr, of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, says groundbreakings are just ahead on seven projects in Philadelphia and three more in Camden.

“We have a movement here that’s taking shape to build a regional trail network that connects South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania together,” he said.

On a broader scale, planners have a long-term goal to create 3,000 miles of trails extending from New England to Florida.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060