Delaware River Trail to Open in 3 weeks?
Maybe I've just been asleep, but I didn't even know they were in the process of building an interim bike/ped trail on the Delaware. I knew it had always been a part of the Praxis master plan, but I figured we were years away from seeing anything.
From the pictures it looks pretty rough, but the head of the DRWC says they've still put 2 miles of trail down as a placeholder until more money and land materializes for a serious project. Has anyone else noticed this?
Sneaking a peak at the Delaware River Trail | Plan Philly: Engaging in Urban Dialogue
Cool. Didn't know this was coming along so nicely. I'll have to go check it out soon (soon as my assignments let up).
On a related note, how is progress coming along the Dupont Crescent?
"It was one of those moments that would have had dramatic music if my life were a movie, but instead I got a radio jingle for some kind of submarine sandwich blaring over the store's ambient stereo. Man, the movie of my life must be really low-budget." Dead Beat
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I took a walk along the new trail today. It's wonderful -- like a country lane in the middle of the city! There were tugboats in the water, views of the Camden industrial skyline (cement works?) and the Philadelphia skyscrapers over the soon-to-be-Foxwoods meadow, many songbirds, hawks whirling overhead. Many of the former piers have reverted to woodlands, with mature trees looming over the water.
I was the only one walking the trail, of course. The Washington Avenue gate is open to bikes and hikers, but the southern gate near WalMart is locked closed, so I had to retrace my steps in order to exit. There is another gate at Federal Street, which I hope they intend to open once the trail is inaugurated (in three weeks). At one point, the trail meanders through a parking lot -- hopefully merely a temporary detour from the riverbank.
It's amazing to realize that for years Pennsport / South Philadelphia has had this wonderful waterfront on its doorstep -- but it was inaccessible until now. The beauty of the area shows how absurd it has been to allow so much of the waterfront (once industry and shipping had left) to be paved over for parking lots and automobile-dependent stores.
If and when the Foxwoods casino comes in, a lot of the green ambience would probably be lost -- paved over. The best scenario would be to confine Foxwoods and its parking lots toward the Delaware Avenue side of its plot, allowing a broad remnant of the meadow along the river to be developed into parkland. Foxwoods, of course, should be made responsible for financing landscaping along its portion of the river.
This industrial-bleak-but-still-at-times-achingly-beautiful look is what the Schuylkill Banks Park had when it first opened. Now it is hard to remember how hardscrabble that land looked, with all of the lush landscaping which has gone in along the lower Schuylkill. I'm looking forward to checking out the new Delaware River Trail so I can see one in the early stages again.
As part of my run this morning I ran the Delaware River Trail with the South Philly Striders running group. Trail was awesome kind of a hidden gem. Alright, it is not perfect that is kind of what I liked about it though. Amazing how close you could get to the river which was beautiful. Yet on the other side there was Walmart. I'll definately be using it a lot more. Note I would not run it alone. It does seem as it could be lonely along there.
As they point out in the article, it is only an interim version of the trail, to be used as a proof of concept model for a larger, permanent trail to be built in the future. Don't take it as a finished product, but if you liked it even in its half-built state, imagine what the final version will look like.
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