New trail connects Philly with wider East Coast network
Cyclists and joggers in Philadelphia's Port Richmond neighborhood now have a new path along the Delaware River waterfront. Officials say the Port Richmond Trail will connect city residents to the water and a wider network of trails.
It's part of The Circuit, a network that links Philadelphia with the surrounding counties and parts of New Jersey. It's also a key portion of the East Coast Greenway.
The Greenway is like the Appalachian trail, but instead of wilderness, this path connects cities from Maine to Florida, said Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
But the Port Richmond Trail bends through heavily industrial zones in Northeast Philadelphia including the Tioga Marine Terminal.
"It's exciting because you're seeing work in progress and being part of a thriving, urban industrial system which we are," Stuart said. "And as long as both can co-exist safely, there's no reason why they can't be next to one another."
Port Richmond resident Mitch Dabrowski said he'd always prefer biking through more natural surroundings, but he'll take what he can get.
"We are very happy that we have this nice piece of bicycle path," he said. "We waited so long."
Connecting residents and visitors with the Delaware River will boost the city's reputation, said state Sen. Michael Stack, D-Philadelphia.
"We should be a river city and look, you watch, there's flatbed trucks coming back here, you see the industrial development," Stack said. "At the same time, I'm having a moment and I've heard birds chirping in the trees and I've been collecting my thoughts and it's very peaceful."