This blog was originally published by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and can be found here.
Finally! After a year and a half, a robust public outreach campaign, multiple revisions and updates, and hundreds of hours spent analyzing and designing preferred alignments, the Tookany Creek Trail Feasibility Study has been completed and published.
The Tookany Creek Trail, which will form an important part of “The Circuit,” the 800+ mile long network of interconnected multi-use trails being developed in the Philadelphia region, has been studied and formulated to meet Circuit standards for a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trail in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
While the study is limited to the corridor between Cheltenham Avenue and High School Road, the work also took into account links with the Tacony Creek Trail in Philadelphia, the Frankford Creek Greenway all the way out to the East Coast Greenway along the Delaware River, as well as Elkins Park, Arcadia University, the Cresheim Trail in Springfield Township, and many other amenities in and around Cheltenham.
The study looked at potential alternate routes on both sides of the Tookany Creek and has benefitted from the rigorous public involvement process noted above, which included a Study Advisory Committee (SAC) with local representatives, numerous focus groups and key person interviews, presentations to Township staff and elected officials, and three public meetings, two of which were held virtually due to pandemic restrictions.
The next step is to secure funding to conduct engineering and design analyses to carefully examine and identify the final alignments, amenities, and needed ROW to build the Tookany Creek Trail. Once these have been completed, construction of the trail can begin.
This will not happen all at once, and the entire trail will not be built wholesale. Rather, it will happen segment-by-segment, with each piece of the trail bringing Cheltenham residents closer to a fully connected trail system. From this point on, it is up to YOU to express your interest in the Tookany Creek Trail to your communities and local elected officials, who will be crucial in helping to raise the money necessary to complete the next steps.