Let’s Rail for Trails!
by David L. Steinberg
As a steering committee member of Tri-County Sustainability Alliance (Tri-CSA) and a green team member of Sustainable Haddon Heights, I have a strong interest in bike trails, hike trails, rails with trails, off road trails, trails for kids, trails for dogs, trails for snails, trails for nails, or any kind of trails.
The proposed Camden County Bike Trail along E. Atlantic Ave Railroad starts at the Ben Franklin Bridge and goes through 16 municipalities, including Camden, Collingswood, Haddon Twp., Oaklyn, Audubon, Haddon Heights, Barrington, Lawnside, Magnolia, Somerdale, Hi-Nella, Stratford, Laurel Springs, Lindenwold, Clementon and Winslow (I hope I have not left any town out). There was a recent public hearing on this proposed “Trail Spine,” which is located approximately in the middle of the county, roughly paralleling the White Horse Pike to the Atlantic County line.
Once completed, this means walkers, bikers and hikers will be able to travel off-road for most of the length of the county. Some of the benefits include:
- Keeping cars off the road reduces pollution.
- Great exercise and better health for those who can walk or bike.
- Safe places to take the whole family.
- The trail, passing through several of these towns’ business districts, brings new customers.
- Provides opportunity for these towns to provide their own connector trails to the “Spine.”
- Creates a better quality of life by eliminating an eyesore of the railroad that cut through these towns. Every town would choose what they need to do for their portion by providing civic projects along the way to beautify the trail, such as: adding plants, trees, street furniture, mini playgrounds, gathering places for town events, bike rentals, etc.
So, why is this important to Sustainable Cherry Hill, which is not even part of the “Spine”?
First, it creates awareness that if it can be done elsewhere in the county, it will stimulate people who will think about trails in your community. The more people who are aware of what is done by neighboring towns, the more likely it will be done here.
Second, let’s engage our elected officials and request them to develop trails in your town.
Third, we know that we are doing our part to create a better world with sustainable projects that are done locally. We can’t do it alone, we need to support each other’s efforts. In return, we expect that other towns will support our own efforts. Together, we can make a difference.
If you have an interest in trails in your community, email me at steinberg [dot] david07 [at] comcast [dot] net. For more information about this trail, read this Courier Post article: http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/2016/11/23/camden-county-eyes-spine-trail-system/94349976/