Friday, December 6, 2013

where the emerald necklace meets the yellow brick road

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is is our region's
federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO). On Sept. 26 the
DVRPC announced the approval of 13 projects for funding from the final phase of the
Regional Trails Program, which was created and funded by a $10 million grant from
the William Penn Foundation.

One of the 13 approved projects was "Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Carter Road East
and West" – read more about it
here, and about last month's $400K bond ordinance
passed by Hopewell, to pay for LHT costs beyond those funded by grants, here.

As you should already know, the LHT is a great nearby resource we can all enjoy.
But you should also be aware of the sprawling network of regional multi-use trails in
the DVRPC, which has being branded "The Circuit". A good article about it is here.
To understand the motivation for The Circuit, paraphrasing from this article:

               "it became apparent that all these individual trail projects were 
                actually beginning to add up to something more. The William Penn
                Foundation was getting a sense that all of the trails would have more 
                potential if they were viewed as one, connected network rather than 
                separate entities. They wanted to promote the idea of a single regional 
                trail system where the trails, as they got filled, would come together and 
                connect into one network, so essentially we're all building one trail."

Reading the the LHT's grant application, it mentions on Page 1 being connected to
"Princeton Township's Bikeways Network". What this currently means, referring
to our boundary as shown on the LHT map, is that you can connect to the LHT
where it crosses Rosedale Rd, or via the towpath (aka East Coast Greenway), or
maybe by way of Princeton Pike. 

But our committee has proposed several improvement projects which, once 
implemented, will make it easier to ride over to the Lawrence Hopewell Trail
via a scenic "cross-town" route encompassing Mountain Ave, Johnson Park
and Community Park schools, PHS and JW middle school, the shopping
center, Terhune Rd, etc. Click here to get a stylized view of a possible route.

This would be a recreational bike route allowing direct access to the lovely "new"
bridge across Stony Brook, which re-opened a year ago. It would have wayfinding
signage and possibly even a catchy name. The P-ride ?  The P-ortage ?
How about The FietsRandolph ? (learn about the Dutch word for bicycle).

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