The Delaware River waterfront holds a host of fantastic festivals and irresistible attractions, but the most compelling draw to the river might just be the advancements of the Central Delaware Master Plan.
Last week, a key piece in a grand plan fell into place as the first part of the Delaware River Trail opened to the public.
The Penn Street trail, which runs from from Spring Garden Street to Ellen Street, covers just 1400 feet, but it’s a giant step towards transforming the Delaware River waterfront into a pedestrian-friendly, walkable and bikeable destination.
Once complete, the multi-use trail will eventually run for six miles both on-road and off from Oregon Avenue in South Philly to Allegheny Avenue in Port Richmond, connecting the Delaware River waterfront to other regional and city-wide trails, including the East Coast Greenway and The Circuit.
This new riverfront trail and greenway is set to remake the waterfront and open up access to the river, greatly enhancing the Delaware River’s appeal as a key Philadelphia destination for both residents and visitors.
The next goal on the trail’s development list is the second segment, which will continue north from Ellen Street to the plaza at SugarHouse Casino, and then on to connect to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown.
But remember, the Delaware River Trail is just one undertaking of more than a dozen ongoing development projects as part of the Central Delaware Master Plan.
Also in the works are new river-to-city connector streetscapes at Spring Garden and Columbia Avenue, a new home for FringeArts near Race Street Pier, a pier park and wetlands park at Washington Avenue, proposed residential and commercial developments and — the awesomely ambitious pièce de résistance — the creation of a cap over I-95 and Columbus Boulevard in Old City as part of future development plans.
We look forward to watching the new horizon of the river’s shore continue to come into view.
Delaware River Trail [Delaware River Waterfront Corporation]