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  1. #1
    Senior Member runinbrynmawr's Avatar
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    Default TOWPATH CLOSED from Lock to Shawmont

    Hey everyone...I just wanted to give you a heads up that the Towpath is going to be "closed" for several months from Lock to Shawmont starting October 17th. I don't know what the conditions of this closure will be. In other words, I don't know if it will be like the Kelly Dr. path where they say it is closed but people still use it anyhow or if it will be so tore up and obstructed it won't be passable.

    What I do know is that 4 months is no short period of time. Between the projects going on on Venice Island and this, there will be a lot of construction work going on behind my shop.

    We can also anticipate sections of Cotton St. to be closed for construction work as well.


  2. #2

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    Wait a minute, am I reading this right? Does this mean they will be PAVING over the gravel on the towpath???

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by farther_closer View Post
    Wait a minute, am I reading this right? Does this mean they will be PAVING over the gravel on the towpath???
    I'd support that. That trail gets very rutted out and is just generally a mess. Might take some of the more casual cyclists off Main Street too.

  4. #4

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    Pave the planet.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMT View Post
    I'd support that. That trail gets very rutted out and is just generally a mess. Might take some of the more casual cyclists off Main Street too.
    Manayunk Towpath is closed for repairs

    Doesn't look like it. Honestly the way it is now with cyclists in the street is great for traffic calming and making a more pedestrian friendly/main street-y type vibe. Towpath helps keep runners off the sidewalk on Main St. It's a win-win the way it is.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by farther_closer View Post
    Wait a minute, am I reading this right? Does this mean they will be PAVING over the gravel on the towpath???
    Probably- darn...

    I remember going over this a decade ago with the (now replaced) Fairmount Park Commisson engineers -
    The FPC engineers really REALLY wanted the towpath paved - despite the (then) brand new bike lanes along Umbria from Shawmont to Lemonte.
    And they insisted that bike paths really were generally paved....

    Summer, eh, 2002? I actually rode the entire "towpath" circuit starting from Manayunk up Schuylkill River Trail,
    to the partially finished Perkiomen Trail from Valley Forge all the way up to Green Lane,

    Then road riding along Powder Valley to Emmaus' Little Lehigh Parkway,
    then along Lehigh canal Towpath from Bethlehem through Sand Island Park to Easton and the Delaware Canal Towpath.
    Took that from Easton to Bristol....

    Also checked out the Union Canal Towpath in Berks County...

    Got plenty of photos showing that generally a towpath is NOT paved.
    Back then, we actually convinced the FPC to spend their attention and money elsewhwere.
    Guess that only works for one 10-year planning cycle though...





    Actully, I still think it would be MUCH better to keep the Manayunk Towpath gravel- here's why.
    Having parallel gravel and paved trails helps separate different uses, and it creates a loop.
    So, low speed uses walkers and fishermen- continue along the towpath, while high speed uses- road bikes (and adventurous bladers) continue along the (existing) Umbria Street bike lanes
    or the (proposed) Cynwood Trail.



    Always seems to be a bad idea to pave in a flooded area.
    I recall a certain suburban township back circa 1999, just before Hurricane Floyd,
    the supervisors insisted on paving their waterfront parking lot (over the protests of the watershed group).

    The site was paved in August 1999. September 1999 rolled around, hurricane flooded the area, and the ENTIRE parking lot
    floated up (imagine a "welcome mat undulating when you hit it with a leaf blower) and inch-wormed it's way about 1,000 feet away into
    the center of the soccer field.
    It very rarely makes sense to pave a flooded bike path.



    I had actually sketched out a temporary bike lane route from Umbria at Lemonte, follwing the Cynwood RR trail out to Canton, then down to Main Street.
    Somewhere, the purple bike list has a bunch of my cues for detouring around the Manayunk towpath, if anyone needs them.


    Hal
    Last edited by Hal; 10-19-2011 at 03:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Ok, I can't find the online article right now that talks about the project, I will post it if I find it. The article basically said that it will NOT BE PAVED but new material will be put down on the towpath which will allow rain water to drain into the ground rather then run of above ground and drain into the canal only as it is the case right now. They were also talking about replacing all wooden bridges.

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  9. #9
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    Paving the Tow Path is a waste of money. This is an area that floods regularly and has trees with roots to destroy pavement. While Fairmount Park and the City can come up with the money for paving in 2011 will there be money to maintain the pavement? Paving the old railroad lines makes sense because the railroads built on land that would not shift but that is not the Tow Path.

    Paving the Tow Path also works against "traffic calming", at least for those on the Tow Path. The current state of the Tow Path is traffic calmed, but paving will bring cyclists that just want to race in an area that is essentially preserved for it's natural and historical setting. Also, it will bring a few more motorized users as well.
    Goodnight Rossana Arquette whereever you are.

  10. #10

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    Not to mention that gravel is simply far more pleasant to walk, jog, or cycle on (provided you don't have skinny 23c tires), there's just something so relaxing and down-to-earth about crunchy gravel surfaces. The tow path is perfect for a natural surface and it's nice to have those sorts of things in urban environment when everything else seems to be made of concrete.

  11. #11
    Philly Remixed mixiboi's Avatar
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    They could do Asphalt like they did over at the Kelly Drive path.
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Consultant. Twitter: @Sdlaugh

  12. #12
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    Like was mentioned several times in this thread and the article the path is not being paved, they're just putting in a different type of gravel substance that drains better.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by burnembrndn View Post
    Like was mentioned several times in this thread and the article the path is not being paved, they're just putting in a different type of gravel substance that drains better.
    Portions of it are being paved. I imagine small portions of it, though. A map would be very helpful in elucidating what will happen.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixiboi View Post
    They could do Asphalt like they did over at the Kelly Drive path.
    The better comparison would be the MLK Dr. Have you noticed how bumpy that is? It was perfectly smooth when it was repaved in the 1990's. If the Tow Path is paved between Flat Rock and Shawmont it's not going to stay smooth. Gravel would be better for flooding and the growth of the trees which will win over any paving, and if the pavement isn't smooth the people with racing bikes won't use it for fear of damaging their bikes. Which is the same situation with gravel but it costs less for maintenance.
    Goodnight Rossana Arquette whereever you are.

  15. #15
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    Anything that cuts back on the muddy spots would be great. When did they tear down the huge abandoned building near Shawmont? Do they plan to do the same with the unused train stop near there also?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickleDimer View Post
    Anything that cuts back on the muddy spots would be great. When did they tear down the huge abandoned building near Shawmont? Do they plan to do the same with the unused train stop near there also?
    I certainly hope not. That is the oldest passenger train station in the USA, dating from 1832.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    I certainly hope not. That is the oldest passenger train station in the USA, dating from 1832.
    How about 1834?
    RAILROAD.NET • View topic - Preservation of Shawmont Station

    Oldest? How about Ellicott City 1831? Or is the difference that Ellicott City is a "depot" and not a "station"?
    B&O Ellicott City Station
    Goodnight Rossana Arquette whereever you are.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin P. Varga View Post
    How about 1834?
    RAILROAD.NET • View topic - Preservation of Shawmont Station

    Oldest? How about Ellicott City 1831? Or is the difference that Ellicott City is a "depot" and not a "station"?
    B&O Ellicott City Station
    The one in MD is a freight station. The one locally is passenger. It's a shame it isn't in use any more.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickleDimer View Post
    Anything that cuts back on the muddy spots would be great. When did they tear down the huge abandoned building near Shawmont? Do they plan to do the same with the unused train stop near there also?
    A "no mud" Tow Path will have to include a "No Flood Plan" for the Tow Path as well. If the Tow Path is paved it will get muddy from rain and flooding. Mud is part of the organic nature of the Tow Path controlling tree growth and mud will cost money, but I guess it will provide long term jobs. Of course with an investment of paving, mud control, and flood control commercial development will be needed to provide tax revenue for such projects. On the other hand none of that was provided for the condos on Venice Island.

    Let the waste continue, pave away.
    Goodnight Rossana Arquette whereever you are.

  20. #20
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    Your unpleasant tone aside, I was just thinking that a porous asphalt surface would still have some silt on it after flooding but would reduce pooling of water/mud. It's a valuable trail, anything to enhance it and get more people to recognize and use it is certainly not waste.

 

 

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