by Alex Lloyd Gross
With an old decommissioned train station behind them, elected politicians from Bucks and Montgomery Counties cut a ribbon to formally open a trail that will connect Bucks and Montgomery Counties together. Located on 2nd Street Pike, just north of Knowles Avenue, in Upper Southampton, a ceremony was held.
This trail was originally opposed. “Some people complained they did not want a trail in their backyard. Like any project, there will be people that oppose it. Once it is constructed, and people see the benefit of it, most of the criticism goes away. To those people that did not want a trail in their backyard, i ask why not,”? Asked Bob Harvie, Bucks County Commissioner.
The trail will run from Newtown, and now connects to the Pennypack Trail in Montgomery County. Continue along the trail and you wind up in Rockledge , and eventually, northeast Philadelphia. People walk, jog, ride bikes or walk their pets along the trail. In fact, during the ceremony, bicycle riders drove by as did a few joggers.
The cost for this cost about $3.1 million officials said. Never have the use of trails been so prevalent than during the pandemic. People would use trails to go outside and get exercise. Use of the trail is free. There will be lots of people that want to use the trail and those people will want food or snacks. That is why Steam, a local restaurant is in the process of converting that building into a small shop where people can purchase things without leaving the trail.
There are barriers in place along major roads to keep motorists from driving down the trails.Police in Southampton have already had cases where errant drivers will make a wrong turn and drive onto the trail. They do have a special vehicle to get around on the trail for patrol. There are also ways to get firetrucks and emergency equipment onto the trail if needed, police said.
The ceremony lasted about 40 minutes, and included speakers from Bucks and Montgomery Counties, along with SEPTA, Penndot and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh joked that he wanted to attend the ceremony in outdoors clothes but Bob Harvie told him to wear a suit and tie.