FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
350 BICYCLISTS FROM 30 STATES CELEBRATE AND RALLY FOR CAMDEN/PHILADELPHIA TRAIL CONNECTION
Washington, D.C.—Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) 8th annual Greenway Sojourn will kick off this Sunday, July 18 at 9 a.m., on the Camden Waterfront where 350 bicyclists will help celebrate a Camden trail victory before heading off on a 250-mile bike ride.
The morning ribbon cutting, featuring Rep. Robert Andrews, will signal the start of a long-awaited, federal TIGER grant-funded improvement project to the road leading to the Ben Franklin Bridge. The 350 Sojourn bicyclists will be on hand to symbolically support the next step toward improvement—the redesign of the bike/pedestrian access point to the bridge on the New Jersey side. Unlike the wide, gently sloping end to the bridge in Pennsylvania, the Camden side is hindered by a "cattle-chute"-style conclusion and a daunting-to-cyclists staircase. The Delaware River Port Authority, which owns the span, has indicated it will fix this problem by 2012.
"We'll be carrying our bikes up the stairs and through the cattle chutes to start our ride," says RTC Northeast Director and Sojourn leader Tom Sexton. "We want to illustrate that the broken links between Philadelphia and Camden need to be reestablished, and that easy, convenient and safe trails for bicycling and walking are just as critical to connecting the cities as any other transportation option."
More than a popular and wildly anticipated recreational ride, the Greenway Sojourn has a long history showcasing trail-building and improvement projects along its route. Sojourn riders—ranging in age from 4 to 90 and hailing from 30 different states—are ardent and loyal trail enthusiasts who often play a part in highlighting the economic, health and quality-of-life benefits trail systems bring to a community. The Sojourn also helps educate and enrich the next generation of trail users, securing sponsorship for 24 school children from the LEAP Charter School in Camden and Faison School in Pittsburg to ride the Sojourn.
Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Fetzer Vineyards: The Earth-Friendly Winery, Fuji Bikes, Cooper's Ferry Development Association and Pocono Whitewater, the seven-day, loop-ride ride features seven different Pennsylvania and New Jersey rail-trails, including the Delaware Canal Towpath, Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath, Ironton Rail-Trail, Lehigh Canal Towpath, Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail, Perkiomen Trail and Schuylkill River Trail.
Learn more about the 2010 Sojourn and RTC's trail-building work at www.railstotrails.org/sojourn2010.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 150,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.