There’s a walking and biking trail right below Frankford that will grow along the Delaware River in the next few years, members of the Frankford Civic Association were told last week.
Thomas Branigan, executive director of the Delaware River City Corporation, and DRCC outreach coordinator Alexia Sotirchos told civic association members that the Port Richmond trail runs over Allegheny Avenue from Richmond Street to Pulaski Park at Allegheny Avenue and the Delaware River and then up along the river to Lewis Street.
The trail’s 1.6 miles have been open since the end of October.
Branigan, a former Streets Department engineer, said he was looking forward to spring and he expected the trail’s use would increase.
“But people are using it already, even in the snow,” he said. “We see footprints in the snow.”
The trail will extend another mile up to Orthodox Street as the Delaware Avenue extension is completed. Groundbreaking for the roadway’s extension was last week.
“We are developing a recreational trail system,” he said, “which will have bike lanes and a number of parks that we will build or improve.”
Eventually, Branigan said, 11 miles of trail will be completed up to the Poquessing Creek, which marks the city’s boundary with Bucks County.
“We will have a number of projects going on this year,” Branigan said, including a bridge across the Pennypack Creek.
The miles of trail are part of the 3,000-miles-long East Coast Greenway. A greenway planned for the Tacony-Frankford Creek will connect up with the trail along the Delaware, he said.
Sotirchos said the DRCC is sponsoring events to better connect people with the agency’s efforts. She said the DRCC is going to take part in the April 5 citywide cleanup and the May 10 Love Your Park Week. For more details, visit www.drcc-phila.org.
There were no zoning presentations at the March 6 session. Pete Specos, the association’s president and zoning officer, said he was waiting to hear from an owner who wants to put a snack bar in a carwash on the 4300 block of Torresdale Avenue, another who wants to return a commercial property on the 1400 block of Unity Street to its previous residential zoning, and a third who already has a permit for a restaurant on the 4700 block of Griscom Street.
Sometimes, what an owner wants to do with a property does not conform to the municipal code, so he or she must ask the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment to allow a bending of the rules — known as a variance — so the work may be done legally. When a variance is sought, members of a local civic association must be consulted. Members then tell the zoners if they support or oppose a project.
One resident complained that garages near Hawthorne and Harrison that were ruined in a fire more than a year ago should be torn down. Specos said he would report the property to the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections.
Specos recognized two political candidates in attendance at the meeting: State Rep. James Clay (D-179th dist.) and his challenger in the spring Democratic Party primary, Jason Dawkins, a former aide to City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (D-7th dist.) Specos stressed that the association does not get involved in political campaigns.
Specos told members they could bring law-enforcement questions or concerns directly to 15th Police District officers at 7 p.m. on March 27 in the second-floor conference room of Aria Health’s Frankford campus, 4900 Frankford Ave. The meeting is open to the public and will focus on the district’s Police Service Area 1, which is its southern third and includes Frankford.
The civic association’s next meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on April 3 in the same second-floor conference room. ••