Schuylkill River Trail/ Wissahickon Park, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) is an innovative facility with a rich and storied past. What’s now a bustling multi-use path that sees more than 1.1 million annual users began as a 19th-century network of carriage pathways, canal towpaths, and railroad corridors. The 9-mile stretch that runs through Philadelphia serves as a transportation and recreation route for active urbanites. It also links to Wissahickon Park, one of the nation’s largest urban singletrack trail systems.
Complete the Schuylkill River Trail, a campaign directed by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, has gained significant traction recently due to the coalition’s time-tested work, support from bike-friendly Mayor Michael Nutter, and a TIGER grant dedicating $17.2 million to connecting seven of the trail’s missing links. The campaign’s goal is to add five miles to the trail, creating 500 construction jobs.
In 2009, the City of Philadelphia set two recreation and transportation goals for 2015: 1)100% of its population will live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and 2) the number of miles driven will decrease 10%. The expansion of the Schuylkill River Trail will help the city achieve both of these admirable targets, thanks to its ability to simultaneously serve transportation and recreation needs.
• 56 miles of Schuylkill trail
• 60 miles of Wissahickon trail
• 125 miles of trail connected when Schuylkill Trail is complete
• 21,585 trips/week on SRT
• City population: 5.3 million
• Users spend $7.3 million/year at SRT
• 58% say the #1 reason why they use the trail is health and exercise
• Bicyclists in Philadelphia ride 260,000 miles daily, preventing 47,450 tons of CO2 emissions each year
• 745 volunteer hours spent on invasive plant removal and native plant restoration in Wissahickon Park
• $17.2 million in TIGER grants; $6 million in Transportation Enhancements grants
• $10,000 Bikes Belong grant for Schuylkill River Trail
• $10,000 Bikes Belong grant for Wissahickon trails
View and download a PDF of the project.