Last Thursday representatives from Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's office met at City Hall with members of RUN215, The Schuylkill River Development Corporation, The Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, #OpenStreetsPHL, The Department of Parks & Recreation, the 9th District Police Department, The Streets Department, Students Run Philly Style, and more.
The goal of this meeting was to update members of the community & government on the city's progress in handling issues on the Schuylkill River Trail.
-----WHAT IS BEING DONE-----
1. INCREASED PATROLS.
- Police Officers from the 9th District have been put on more frequent patrols at peak hours.
- Parks & Rec have added Park Ranger patrols on the trail.
2. REPAIRS & LIGHTING.
- All lights directly above the trail (the round "can" ones) have been repaired from Lloyd Hall to South Street.
- Solutions are being looked at to repair the bulkheads (the ones along the river).
3. MILE MARKERS & SIGNAGE.
- The Schuylkill River Development Corp and Parks & Rec have been working diligently on a more effective trail marker system in the event of an emergency. These would be distributed every 250-300 feet on the trail from South Street to the Montgomery County Line, using data from other major cities & their best practices. The city has been EXTREMELY proactive in finding the most effective trail marking system, and we were shown a preliminary mock-up of what these would look like. All markers with be GIS integrated with emergency responders. We were all very, very happy with work being done. Unfortunately we do not have a timeline yet on when this will be completed, as information is still being compiled, and plans are being hammered out.
4. CRIME STATS.
- There has been one reported case of sexual harassment since the last meeting on Nov 5th. A group of teens smacked a women on the behind while riding past on bicycles. The incident was reported off-site 45 minutes later.
- There has been an increase in narcotics arrests on the trail.
- Crime on the trail overall has decreased since these patrols were put into action.
- The Bicycle Coalition, Students Run Philly Style, and RUN215 had made a point in both meetings that there is a need for positive community initiatives involving the trail, with a special emphasis on the young people using the SRT. This was met with overwhelming support by all members at the table.
- We will be working together over the coming months to find effective ways to engage with trail users. In the meantime, we welcome your contributions and suggestions as we work to begin some awesome, meaningful, and positive community oriented initiatives.
------WHAT YOU CAN DO-------
1. STAY VOCAL.
SEE SOMETHING? SAY SOMETHING!
- The Police Department relies on these reports to properly dispatch patrols. We live in the 5th largest city in the country, with various crimes occurring all over. The Police Department has a lot on their hands, and as citizens WE NEED TO REPORT CRIMES WHEN THEY HAPPEN. If a crime is serious enough to report to the police, then it is serious enough to WAIT for the officer to arrive so that the correct measures can be taken. This not only helps YOU, but other users of the trail.
- Has a sign been vandalized? Is there a dangerous pothole? Are the lights out again? REPORT THEM TO 311. I know it is frustrating, but these calls are taken seriously, and the data is collected. We all want more efficient ways to handle various problems, but again, if the issue is serious enough, the correct steps need to be taken.
- If you feel that something is NOT being handled, and you have taken all of the appropriate actions, GET A HOLD OF YOUR COUNCILPERSON. Trust me, they are approachable, receptive, and proactive. The initial meeting with Councilman Johnson's office (and each subsequent one) was the result of various members of the community reaching out. Here's the link: http://www.philadelphiacitycouncil.net
2. BE SMART. BE SAFE.
The Schuylkill River Trail is multi-use, which means that at any given point you are sharing with other runners, walkers, cyclists, an yes...the surrey bikes on the weekends. We need to be aware of our surroundings at all times.
- If you run/walk with headphones, KEEP THE VOLUME DOWN. We all want to be the stars in our own "Rocky" sequence when working out, but you need to consider that you're not on set. This is not a closed course.
- Don't hog the trail. Yes it is awesome to chat with the runners around you, but keep it two abreast if space allows. If the trail is too narrow, then you'll have to go single file until space opens up again. (This goes for tourists and walkers, too.)
- Bikers, CALL WHEN PASSING. Bikes are stealthy, wonderful machines. Most of the time, we can't hear them. Give those around you a ring, or an "On your left!" shout.
- Don't litter! Not only does this dirty the trail (think "broken window theory"), but those GU wrappers are slippery, and are a snapped tibia waiting to happen...
3. LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER.
We are all members of a community. If you see someone who needs assistance, provide it. It could be something as simple as giving directions to a lost tourist, or something as serious as helping someone who has been in an accident. The city can only do so much. It is OUR responsibility to uphold the standard that we demand from our elected officials. We depend on each other to support the changes that we want.
***RUN215 would like to thank the City of Philadelphia, especially the office of Councilman Johnson, for holding these meetings. We realize that these changes will not happen overnight, and pledge our support to provide help however we can.***
WOW. I cannot even begin to explain how much fun we had at the #NIGHTSHIFTPHL Holiday Jawn. This was by far THE BEST #NIGHTSHIFTPHL we have ever had! THANK YOU to everyone that showed up, ran, worked out, danced, and hung out with us.
Thanks to your incredible contributions, we raised $402 dollars and two big boxes filled with toys for Ronald McDonald House!! Absolutely amazing.
We've started posting some of the pictures on the #NIGHTSHIFTPHL page. Go them them out and download them for free! More will be added shortly.
Thank you SO MUCH, Philly Runners, and have a great holiday!
In light of recent incidents on the Schuylkill River Trail, (rated the #1 Urban Trail in America) Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's office has decided to formally establish a committee so we can strategize and find the best ways to maintain the trail and improve safety. RUN215 is honored to be one of the stakeholders in this committee, and we promise to continue to advocate for the safety and wellbeing of EVERYONE who uses our city's popular streets and trails.
The first official meeting will be occurring TODAY, December 17th, in City Hall. The purpose of today's meeting is to update committee members on the city's progress, and to put together a cohesive, collaborative strategy moving forward.
We want you hear YOUR questions and concerns, so post them in the comments section. We want to make sure everyone's voices are heard, and will take these concerns into the meeting room today.
We will update you with the results of the meeting later today.
Iron-on patches (which you can also sew), FlexFit Beanies, and more awesome swaggy swag is now available in the STORE!
Items sell out fast, but we replenish them when we can. So if you DO miss out, keep checking back!
BIG NEWS! The RUN215 RACEBUS returns again for our 2nd Annual Chilly Cheeks Trail Run on January 24th!!!
Last year we piled 46 people onto a school bus loaded with beverages**, snacks, and TONS of freebies to Reading, PA. In a race appropriately described as "harder to endure than knowing your parents had sex," we trudged up 7 miles of hills on all fours, scaled downed trees, leapt over gaps, and enjoyed what is EASILY the best half-way-"water"-station in America, all in six inches of snow and 30 degree weather. We laughed, we drank, we high fived, and we shared an incredible sense of community over pancakes, Jameson and eggs post-race. Then we hopped back onto a bus with our loyal guide, Mark, and celebrated our achievements over more beverages**, snacks, and freebies.
This year, we're doing it all over again, only bigger. The North Face is joining in and will be printing CUSTOM RUN215 ARM WARMERS just for this race, and that's ON TOP OF the other swag they're giving each runner. Freakin' awesome. On top of that, Mamma Chia will be providing refreshments along our journey as well!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Tickets for the bus go on sale THIS MONDAY, DECEMBER 7th at 8:00a.m. (This WILL sell out, so don't sit on it)
Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chilly-cheeks-run215racebus-2016-tickets-19721368143
Entry for the Chilly Cheeks 7 Mile Trail Run is currently open.
Registration Link: http://pretzelcitysports.com/chillycheeks.html
***YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REGISTERING FOR THE RACE*** We will simply send polite reminders.
WHAT YOU WILL GET:
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE RACE (Leaving from Broad & Christian St. and YES it's a Schoolbus. This race is gritty and so are we.)
FREE THE NORTH FACE SWAG BAGS WITH CUSTOM RUN215 ARM WARMERS* (Btw these retail for like $30)
FREE MAMMA CHIA
***THIS IS A 21+ EVENT***
*To get your The North Face Swag Bag & Arm Warmers you need to bring an item of clothing to donate to TNF Clothes The Loop, which recycles used clothing/footwear to be repurposed instead of ending up in landfills, & sign up for The North Face VIPeaks.
**Beverages are for those 21+ only. No one under the age of 21 will be admitted on the bus. Identification will be required and checked for all participants.
Author: Jon Lyons
Founder of RUN215. Fitness Activist. Father. Self-diagnosed running addict.