By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Yet another piece to the puzzle is being put together to breathe new life into Philadelphia’s waterfront. Today, officials opened a new segment of the Delaware River Trail, the first that gives cyclists and pedestrians their own lanes.
The ribbon-cutting and inaugural bike ride showcased Philadelphia’s first separated on-road bicycle and pedestrian trail, running for about 1,400 feet from Spring Garden Street to Ellen Street.
Unlike the Kelly Drive path along the Schuylkill, in which riders, runners, rollerbladers, and walkers share the lanes (making for some hectic passing situations on nice days), this part of the Delaware River Trail includes a 12-foot-wide, bi-directional bikeway and a ten-foot-wide pedestrian walkway.
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation president Tom Corcoran says it’s part of the six-mile-long trail they are constructing from Oregon Avenue to Allegheny Avenue.
“This is the full monty,” Corcoran said today. “If you were to go up to New York and look at the Hudson River Greenway, that has beautiful plantings and then a bike path separated from traffic by a landscaped buffer with rain gardens. That’s what this is here today.”
There’s an asphalt bike section with a yellow line down the middle, and a concrete section for runners and walkers.
The next segment will continue north to the Sugarhouse Casino, eventually connecting to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown.