The Lower Merion commissioners recently approved the advertisement for an ordinance change that would provide 24-hour access to the Manayunk Bridge and Cynwyd Heritage Trail, writes Richard Ilgenfritz for Main Line Media News.
Donna Heller, the director of parks and recreation for Lower Merion, said that some people already use the trail after hours, so the ordinance change would legitimize its use.
But there’s also another, larger reason for the proposed change.
The new hours coincide with a plan from Philadelphia officials to place lights on the Manayunk Bridge. The lights are being funded by grant money received from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Their implementation is in partnership with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Manayunk Development Corp.
The new lights are scheduled to be up and running sometime in late March. Once the lighting project is complete, people will be welcome to use the bridge 24/7.
According to Heller, Philadelphia police and Lower Merion have discussed the potential crime-related issues that might stem from increased use of the bridge and trails at night.
In addition to the lights, Philadelphia is installing security cameras along the bridge that Philadelphia police will monitor and share the footage with Lower Merion police.
In addition to the lights in the bridge, Lower Merion is currently considering putting lights along its section of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail.
“We do have funds in this year’s Capital Improvement Program to begin investigating lighting the Cynwyd Heritage Trail,” Heller said.
Read more about the proposed ordinance change on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail at Main Line Media News.