The Circuit Trails, a developing 800-mile regional network of multi-use trails in the Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey region, marked a significant win in the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by Congress at the end of December. Reps. Boyle (PA-02), Dean (PA-04), Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Scanlon (PA-05) secured $7.27 million in Community Project Funding that will help the Circuit Trails Coalition reach its short-term goal of completing 500 miles of trails by 2025.
“The Circuit Trails Coalition is extremely appreciative of our members of Congress who requested funds within their districts to advance the development of the Circuit Trails network,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition and executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “As trail use and demand continue to grow, the need for sustained federal investment is imperative to creating safe and welcoming outdoor spaces to meet that demand.”
National trail use in 2022 increased 45% in comparison to 2019, demonstrating enduring demand for trails across the country, according to recently released data from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails advocacy organization.
The new Community Project Funding is critical to help fill portions of the remaining 90 unfunded miles that would fulfill the coalition’s short-term goal of 500 miles by 2025. The Circuit Trails projects awarded Community Project Funding are:
*$2.5 million for the Germantown Pike Crossing segment of the Cross County Trail in Montgomery County secured by Rep. Madeleine Dean;
*$1 million for the Battery segment of the Delaware River Trail in Philadelphia secured by Rep. Brendan Boyle;
*$1.77 million for the Veterans Park to Quakertown segment of the Upper Bucks Rail Trail in Bucks County secured by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick;
*$2 million for the Bartram’s to Passyunk Phase II segment of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia secured by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.
An additional $5 million was awarded for park development adjacent to the trail, which includes:
*$2 million toward Graffiti Pier, which includes the Delaware River Trail in Philadelphia;
*$1 million for Sadler’s Poynt Park in Camden that includes the Delaware River Heritage Trail in Camden County;
*$2 million for Assunpink Greenway Recreation Corridor, a linear park project east of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail in Mercer County.
“The progress of the Circuit Trails is reliant on the consistent commitment of local and federal funders and policymakers,” said Clark Stuart. “With their support, we can continue to build and provide welcoming and inclusive places for healthy transportation and recreation, connect our communities to green space, and make our neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work.”
The Community Project Funding for the Circuit Trails is one example of momentum behind federal investments in trails and active transportation infrastructure. Dozens of community projects included in the omnibus bill support trail and active transportation infrastructure. In addition, the federal omnibus bill includes $45 million to kick-start the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP), a new program that provides dedicated funding for the planning and construction of safe and connected trail and active-transportation networks and long-distance spine trails. Learn more about the demand for trails, walking and biking infrastructure and available federal funding at railstotrails.org/policy/funding.
The Circuit Trails is one of RTC’s TrailNation™ projects, comprising regional trail networks that represent diverse people, places and approaches to building connected trail systems across city, county and state lines. Learn about TrailNation at railstotrails.org/trailnation. For more information about the Circuit Trails, visit www.circuittrails.org.
About the Circuit Trails:
Greater Philadelphia is the proud home of the Circuit Trails, a regional trail network of hundreds of miles of multi-use trails that is growing in size each year. One of America’s largest trail networks, the Circuit currently includes more than 370 miles of completed multi-use trails with a vision of including more than 800 miles of interconnected trails across a nine-county region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by 2040. Nearly 65 nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies are working together as part of the Circuit Trails Coalition to advance the completion of the trail network. A premiere regional amenity, the Circuit Trails connect our people to our local communities, providing endless opportunities for recreation and commuting. So whether you bike it, walk it, run it or paddle alongside it, the point is — just enjoy it. Learn more at www.circuittrails.org and connect with the Circuit Trails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to find out what is happening #OnTheCircuit.