Philadelphia Awarded $17M in Recovery Funds to Fill Critical Gaps in Bike Trail Network

Funding Part of Bi-State Application that Will also Fund Trails in Camden, NJ

Philadelphia, February 17, 2010 –

The regional application for $36 million was submitted by the City with Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Schuylkill County, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Coopers Ferry Development Cooperation (Camden County, New Jersey). Camden County will receive $5.8 million through the program. At this time projects in the other counties have not been funded.

Mayor Nutter applauded the work of the team that prepared the application, “This program stands out nationally for its multi-state, multi-jurisdiction approach to meet the active transportation needs of our region. The recovery is not over yet and this project will create jobs for engineers, designers, and construction workers.” The Mayor remains committed to the completion of a regional trail network, “I pledged that the City will support Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County and Schuylkill County as they pursue state and federal funding to complete the regional trial network.”

Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities noted the far reaching transportation and health impacts of the project, “This award allows us to fill-in critical gaps in the City’s bike trail network. When these gaps are filled I expect it to be easier than ever before to commute by bike or enjoy a bike ride with family and friends. A more complete bike trail network makes it easier to have an active lifestyle, which can address some of our biggest health challenges including obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.”

“This bike and pedestrian path project is welcoming news not only for the economic impact it will have for Camden, Philadelphia, and the surrounding region, but also for the positive effect it will have on our environment,” Mayor Dana L. Redd said. “The approval of this project is yet another example that emphasizes Camden’s revitalization efforts are moving forward. I look forward to continue working with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg and our entire congressional delegation and President Obama’s administration to take full advantage of exciting opportunities that will help transform Camden and the surrounding area into a prosperous economic region.”

“Camden County is very excited about this $5.8 million federal grant that supports our greenways initiative to connect Camden County with downtown Philadelphia through active transportation—walking and biking,” said Camden County Freeholder Jeffrey Nash. “By the completion of this greenways path in 2012, residents will be able to walk or bike from Cooper River Park through Camden and across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia.”.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council helped prepare the application.

“This grant is a giant leap forward in connecting Philadelphia’s urban center, outlying neighborhoods and suburban communities via a sustainable and active transportation system,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, Campaign Director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Obama Administration recognized Philadelphia for laying the foundation of a truly connected multi-modal transportation system between 1970 and 2010. This funding allows us to take that system to the next level so that it can be enjoyed and used by larger and more diverse sector of the region’s population.”

Patrick Starr, Senior Vice President of PEC said job access and recreational opportunities are vital to the revitalization of communities, “Filling in the regional trail gaps in Philadelphia and Camden as the hubs of the system along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers is a game changer.”

“This is an investment in providing a better, greener future for our kids,” said Spencer Finch, Director of Sustainable Communities for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “Take a look at Philadelphia’s existing trails and riverfronts and you’ll see families and friends having a great time biking, fishing, and commuting to work. These new trails will extend those opportunities to even more people in the region.”

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that the City of Philadelphia received $17.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to fill critical gaps in the City’s bicycle and pedestrian trail network. The dollars were awarded to the City through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) highly competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants Program. The grant program was designed to spur a national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation. DOT received $56.5 billion dollars worth of applications, for just $1.5 billion in grants.

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