The Importance of Infrastructure in Building the Camden Bike Community

NJHI 2015: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action Building a Culture of Health in Camden

The City of Camden is in the midst of an unprecedented growth spurt. Providing residents, workers, students, and visitors with first-rate infrastructure that offers viable transportation options to leverage the health benefits of physical activity is a vital component of Camden’s redevelopment goals.

Camden is integrating Complete Streets principles into new roadway designs, which will enable safe access for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists,. Several of these designs have begun moving from engineering to construction.

Riding through Camden, you can see a sense of pride, especially the community gardens in Cramer Hill. 

In addition to serving as Get Healthy Camden coalition partners, the City of Camden, Camden County, and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership are active members of the Circuit Trails Coalition, a collaborative working to advance completion of a connected network of trails in the Greater Philadelphia region. The Circuit Trails network is one of America’s largest trail systems connecting people to jobs, schools, communities, parks, and waterways via a network of ‘bicycling highways.’ The trail network currently has more than 300 miles of completed trails, with plans to construct more than 750 miles of trails across a nine-county region across New Jersey and Pennsylvania by 2025. Upon completion, the Circuit will be the most comprehensive regional trail network in the United States.

There is also the Camden GreenWay Trail Network, which connects more than 128 miles of bicycle trails, provides mobility alternatives to South Jersey residents, and supports population health and environmental initiatives. The GreenWay consists of walking and biking trails that connect Camden, Philadelphia, and the South Jersey suburbs, including the Cooper River Park Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, and the East Coast Greenway.

Here is what Camden’s current bike owners have said about the trails:

“The trails provide an opportunity for people from surrounding neighborhoods to get out and explore Camden, reducing any sense of fear that they may have. It would be great to see the trail expanded further east and west.” – Camden Resident

“Riding through Camden, you can see a sense of pride, especially the community gardens in Cramer Hill.” – Camden Resident

Complementary to this work, Get Healthy Camden and our partners are exploring possible approaches to launching a bike share program. Our first goal is to conduct a feasibility study by the end of 2018. Connect with us to follow and partner in our progress.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.




Valeria Galarza
Cooper's Ferry Partnership