By Elizabeth Sewell, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Trail Development Manager, Northeast Region
On Tuesday, April 17, Camden, New Jersey, proudly welcomed its newest bike Fixit station. Made possible through the support of the Campbell Soup Foundation and coordinated by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Fixit station – a first for Camden City and County – was installed in preparation of a new bike/pedestrian ramp coming to the Camden side of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
After generously being installed and inspected by Bennet Brothers Construction and John Boyle from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, respectively, the new Dero Fixit station and the promise of the bridge ramp were celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Representatives from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Circuit Trails Coalition, Rutgers-Camden and the university’s IGNITE afterschool cycling program all attended the happy occasion. IGNITE Instructor George Wood even gave a tutorial on how use the swanky station—here’s a quick video of some of the fun highlights!
Smooth Rides Ahead
Delaware River Port Authority’s approval of the bridge ramp in August 2017 was exciting news for the more than 100,000 people who cross the bridge by foot or bicycle every year. The eagerly awaited ramp will be installed by summer 2019 at the eastern terminus of the bridge—providing a much smoother connection between the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Circuit Trails.
After the ramp is completed, pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be faced with climbing approximately 50 stairs and dismounting their bikes to enter New Jersey. And what was a challenging trek, will become an accessible and enjoyable way for everyone—of all ages and ability—to explore, commute and connect in the region.
The south walkway of the bridge is currently closed for construction of the ramp, but the north side of the bridge is still reachable from the north via the 5th Street pedestrian tunnel in Philadelphia and Camden.
To check out the future site of the ramp and fill tires, adjust brakes and perform other minor adjustments, visit the new bike repair station at the intersection of 5th and Pearl Street in Camden.
(Pssst! The Fixit station is a destination on the Circuit Trail’s Go Do Discover. #onthecircuit Scavenger Hunt. Learn how you can win a new bike by snapping a photo at the new station!)