Blog by Robin Irizarry, TTF’s Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator
During the summer of 2017, we were awarded a $10,000 mini-grant from FedEx through the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The goal of this grant was to enhance pedestrian safety along portions of the Tacony Creek Park Trail (part of The Circuit regional trail network) in Philadelphia’s Tacony Creek Park.
TTF used these funds to fabricate and install a new park gate and bollard at Tabor Gateway, one of Tacony Creek Park’s most actively used gateways. The park has historically struggled with pedestrian safety issues caused by unauthorized motorized vehicle drivers entering the park through its neighborhood trail heads.
This access enables motorists to illegally dump trash and construction debris in the park and on the trail. It also leads to dangerous confrontations for pedestrians and cyclists encountering speeding cars as well as frequent abandoning of vehicles in the park, which are often set on fire directly on the paved trail.
TTF coordinated with the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation and contractors to ensure that the gates met the City of Philadelphia’s standards and specifications.
Care was taken to install gates to restrict car access while not restricting pedestrians and bicycles. After thorough planning and permitting, the fabrication and installation was completed this past summer.
We celebrated this installation with neighbors and Rails to Trails at the first concert ever held at the park adjacent to the new gateway in July, and recorded a video message to commemorate this accomplishment!
As partners, we were able to help @ttfwatershed secure a grant to install a gate on the Tacony Creek Trail to help limit illegal vehicles and make this trail #onthecircuit safer for all. pic.twitter.com/tXmMLUHAw5
— Rails-to-Trails (@railstotrails) July 28, 2018
TTF’s mission is to restore and protect the health and vitality of our watershed and especially Tacony Creek Park. We connect our communities to the creek and support enhancements towards park access and safety. While there are still gaps along the park perimeter that need securing, we are confident that these improvements will contribute to a safer and more pleasant trail experience for park visitors for years to come.
We are thankful for this new park infrastructure made possible by FedEx and Rails-to-Trails, and look forward to continuing this valuable partnership.
Interested in being part of these efforts? Learn more about how you can join the TCP Keepers, the Friends group for the park.