Planning Commission Holds Public Meeting for Southern Chester County Circuit Trail Feasibility Study

On Tuesday, July 14, the Chester County Planning Commission held a public meeting discussing the Southern Chester County Circuit Trail Feasibility Study via Zoom from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

There were 165 people in attendance, with great public feedback and participation among attendees. The meeting was also live-streamed via the Planning Commission’s Facebook page, where the “event” piqued interest from an additional 45 potential trail users.

During the meeting, project manager for the study, Rachael Griffith, provided an overview of the project, including potential trail alignments and feedback received from the public so far. Attendees contributed to the discussion as well, especially regarding the trail’s potential use and location. Additional break-out sessions were facilitated by Planning Commission staff in order for attendees to take a deeper dive into specific discussion areas.

Meeting attendees consisted primarily of local residents and stakeholders, trail enthusiasts, organizations, and others who are interested in the trail’s potential use and impact on the area.

All three Chester County Commissioners, Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline, were also in attendance and spoke of their support for trails in the county. “Chester County is a strong supporter of the Circuit – the regional trail network in the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Commissioner Moskowitz. The Commissioners also noted the economic and transportation benefits of trails. “Trails offer a fun and healthy alternative to driving your car to the places you go most often, like school, work, and the grocery store,” said Commissioner Kichline.

The need for the feasibility study was first identified in the updating of Landscapes3 (the county’s comprehensive plan), when public input reflected an interest in more recreational trails in the southern part of the county, as well as a need for safe transportation options.

Once complete, the study will identify whether or not it is feasible to develop a continuous, multi-use trail to connect the communities along the Route 1 corridor in southern Chester County to the Brandywine Trail and the Circuit – the greater Philadelphia region’s existing trail system.

For those who were unable to attend the public meeting, a recording can be found here. There will likely be another public meeting, with more information to follow.

Partial funding for this project comes from the Regional Trails Program, administered by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, with funding from the William Penn Foundation. For more information, contact Rachael Griffith at rgriffith@chesco.org.

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