Greenway Trail PlanCamden County, in partnership with a coalition including the City of Philadelphia and Cooper’s Ferry Development Association (CFDA), has received a $5.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve walking and biking access through a 'complete streets' rehabilitation, including sidewalks, streetscaping, bike lanes, multi-use paths and trails. Camden County’s portion of the project will connect the Ben Franklin Bridge to Cooper River Park and beyond, by a system of active transportation trails through the county’s greenway.
“Camden County is very excited about this $5.8 million federal grant that supports our greenways initiative to connect Camden County with downtown Philadelphia through active transportation—walking and biking,” said Camden County Freeholder Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the Camden County Department of Parks and Environmental Affairs. “By the completion of this greenways path in 2012, residents will be able to walk or bike from Cooper River Park through Camden and across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia.”
CFDA , along with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, prepared the submission of the multi-state grant proposal to USDOT on behalf of Camden County and Philadelphia. CFDA General Counsel Jacob A. Gordon, who managed the project, noted that Camden County is the only TIGER grant recipient in the state of New Jersey. The total grant was for $23 million, with $17.2 million going to Philadelphia County. Camden County received all the money it requested
“Camden County would like to thank Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, along with U.S. Representative Robert Andrews for their support of our greenway project,” said Freeholder Nash. “We appreciate their interest in supporting green projects across the county.”
The federal grant will be used to construct multiple trail segments of a regional network. This multi-jurisdictional project, called Generating Recovery by Enhancing Active Transportation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (GREAT-PA/NJ), will significantly complete an integrated, multi-county bicycle pedestrian network for the region. By increasing non-motorized transportation access between Camden City and Philadelphia, and filling in critical gaps between existing trails, such as Cooper River Park Trail, Schuylkill River Trail and the East Coast Greenway, this grant will help connect over 128 miles of bicycle trails in the metro region, providing more active transportation options and more multi-modal connections for over 6 million residents and countless visitors.
Through these trails and streetscape upgrades, the region’s livability will be enhanced by increasing active transportation, connecting residential neighborhoods to commercial corridors and places of work, connecting residents to transit stops, sparking economic development, enhancing underserved neighborhoods’ access to green space and alternatives modes of transportation and improving public health. The region’s sustainability will be enhanced by decreasing total numbers of vehicle miles traveled, improving air quality and promoting regional and local riverfront redevelopment.
Among the corridors to be improved in Camden with the TIGER grant funding include Martin Luther King Boulevard, Pine Street and Pearl Street. Corridors will get a number of 'complete streets' rehabilitation improvements, including significant sidewalk and streetscape improvements, bicycle lanes, street resurfacing, storm water management and pedestrian signage.
Cooper’s Ferry Development Association (CFDA) was founded in 1984 as a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to creating and carrying out economic development projects within the City of Camden. CFDA’s mission is to coherently plan and implement high-quality urban redevelopment projects in order to help replenish Camden’s depleted tax base and to create a significant number of jobs for city residents. CFDA also works to improve Camden’s environment as a place in which to live, to work, to visit and to invest.