Expansion project will allow Frankford walking trail to grow

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. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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