Kennett Greenways Background
For years, Kennett Township dedicated its resources to the development of the Kennett Greenway, a 14 mile traditional shared use path creating a loop around Kennett. This traditional 10-foot wide paved path would be expensive - $14-28M, perhaps with the costs equally shared between local and state/county sources - requiring a planning to to stretch construction out over 10-20 years. Whereas most projects of this type begin with the right-of-way secured for most or all of the route (either passing through public parks or adjacent to public roadways, or on abandoned rail lines), much of the route proposed for the Kennett Greenway passed through private lands. As a result, the the easements and acquisitions to be acquired increased the cost and time to completion by a factor of 2 to 3, IF they could be acquired at all. After eight years of effort and close to a million dollars spend on design, we believe that we concluded the Kennett Greenway as envisioned would never be completed.
From one path to many experiences
As our understanding of - and experience with - trails grew, we realized that a the one-size-fits-all shared use path is not neccessarily a good fit for all users. Biuilding on the grandbreakign work of Larry Knutson, we realized that we needed to think not jut of tthe physical trails, but how these fit the objectives and the experiences of users. This led us to re-imagine our efforts as the Kennett Greenways came to appreciate that Over the coming months, we will present the data that have led us to this conclusion, and on projects like the Chandler Mill Trail and the Red Clay Park that risk falling far short of expectations and needs. Accepting the fact that KTAs vision will never be realized will help ensure that public funds will be directed to projects that are actually likely to succeed. We believe that these can become part of the Kennett Greenways: a network of paved paths, road-based cycling routes, and natural trails (like the trail to the right through Stateline Woods Preserve). Crisscrossing the region, it can be tailored to meet the needs of every group of users, and built in fiscally and environmentally responsible ways. Follow our Kennett Greenway Forum to stay informed.