Back Yard Creeks & Open Lots to be Public Trails & Parking

Hundreds of Northampton residents in Churchville, Holland and Richboro will have public bicycle trails in their back yards soon if the "trailers" aren't stopped!

Also, parking lots with Porta Potties will be coming too!

Have you heard about the Northampton Township Riparian Buffer Zone Ordinance affecting creeks like the one in or near your yard?  A Riparian Buffer Zone is the 25-foot area along the banks of both sides of a creek, such as the creek on or next to your property.  This area is protected from building & mowing, requires specific natural plantings, and permits recreational trails according to the State approved Lower Neshaminy Creek Conservation Plan which includes the Ironworks and Pine Run Creeks.  Northampton Township adopted the study and wanted to implement it through a Riparian Buffer Zone Ordinance, but it was tabled (not voted on) after some of your neighbors vigorously opposed it.  In that ordinance, homeowners like you lose rights to your property, and you must maintain the area according to law.  For example, you may have to allow a PUBLIC TRAIL IN YOUR BACK YARD all day and night!

Although there are dozens of miles of trails and other recreational areas within and surrounding Northampton, the trail advocates want more!  Their reasons as stated in 2016: "we are bored with existing facilities and it’s too much trouble to load a bike on a car and drive to a nearby trail.” If the trail advocates announced their complete trail plans for Northampton, including your creek, they would be faced with thousands of residents in opposition. Instead, they are demanding one trail at a time, hoping to overtake smaller opposing groups for each trail location. Divide and conquer is their strategy.  For now, trail advocates want the rail trail, a proposed bicycle trail along the railroad tracks in Holland and Churchville which will serve as the trunk line, or “spine.”  When that is completed, they will be back with the same rationale to build more branch trails into Richboro and other neighborhoods along the creeks which intersect the railroad tracks.  A Riparian Buffer Zone along the Ironworks & Pine Run Creeks will provide them with approved locations for “more connectivity and trails,” this time in YOUR back yard, and at YOUR expense. The county and township will NOT pay for fencing, and may even prohibit it.  The time to act is now!

Currently, a handful of township residents along with the out of town bicycle clubs are trying to revive trails in the November election.  They are canvassing Northampton, telling our residents that trails will not increase taxes and will be safe. This has not been proven true anywhere in Bucks County, Pennsylvania or the U.S.  A proposed rail trail was defeated in 2016 due to costs to Northampton taxpayers, disruption of residential neighborhoods, transient stranger danger, trash, destruction of wildlife habitat and the placement of parking lots with porta potties in residential neighborhoods.  The rail trail alone would have cost $8 million to build and $.5 million per year for the township to maintain. 

About Parking Lots:

Trails are open 365 day a year.  If built, the rail trail will attract residents and non-residents alike.  The majority of users will have to drive to the trail, park and unload their bicycles.  Although Bucks County has refused to identify the locations of parking lots and porta potties in Northampton, there are possible parking lot sites which are owned by the township and county on Elm Avenue and East Holland Road and in the surrounding neighborhoods.  If there are no parking lots, trail users will park on your street.  If there are no porta potties, trail users will relieve themselves somewhere.  As the Montgomery County portion of this trail has numerous parking lots with one or more porta potties, we can expect the same, possibly next door to you.  

History and Documents Proving Their Plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Bureau of Recreation and Conservation) funded the Heritage Conservancy to study water sources in Bucks County.  In October 2004 the Lower Neshaminy Creek Watershed Conservation Plan was published (CLICK HERE)  which makes your backyard creek open to the public.  Meetings were well attended by bicycle groups and the plan was accepted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which covers the greater Philadelphia area in PA and NJ.  The state also accepted the results of the study (CLICK HERE)  allowing the public onto private property along creeks.  Out of this study came the Riparian Buffer Zones, which include the Neshaminy, Ironworks and Pine Run Creek trails in Holland, Churchville and Richboro (CLICK HERE, page 43).  In addition, the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors attempted to pass the ordinance described above to enforce this public buffer zone in residents' rear yards (CLICK HERE, pages 3 and 4).  

Although the ordinance failed as discussed above, the bicyclists plan to get their "rail trail" as the first step described above, which goes through 200 back yards,  then to get these creeks as additional criss-cross trails in another 600 more back yards.  In fact, at a recent township meeting, they accidentally confirmed that they wanted the rail trail in order to get to Richboro.  This can only be accomplished via the Ironworks Creek Trail!  The Pine Run Creek will get them to the Neshaminy Creek and on to other sites. 

Some of their strategies can be found here (CLICK HERE).

If You Find Your Street on this list, a Trail or Parking Lot is Coming onto or next to your property:

ALMSHOUSE RD:       IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

AMITY WAY:                IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

APPALOOSA CT:         RAIL TRAIL

AQUA DR:                   IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

BEVERLY RD:              PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

BIRCH AVE:                 IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; RICHBORO TRAIL

BLUE FOX LN:            IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

BRIDGETOWN PIKE: PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

BRISTOL RD:              RAIL TRAIL

BROOK DR:                RAIL TRAIL; IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

BROOKSIDE DR:        PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

BUCK RD:                   PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

BURDSAL AVE:          RICHBORO TRAIL

BUSTLETON PIKE:    IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

BUTTONWOOD DR:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CAMERON DR:         RAIL TRAIL; IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CANDACE CT:           IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CEDAR DR:               IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CHAPEL DR:             IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CHESTNUT DR:        IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CORNELL AVE:         RAIL TRAIL

COVEY LN:                PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

CREEK RD:                IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

CRESCENT DR:        PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

DEBORAH RD:         IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

E ELIZABETH LN:     IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

E NORTON DR:        IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

E PATRICIA RD:        PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

E PICKERING BND:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; RICHBORO TRAIL

E WINDROSE DR:    IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

EAST HOLLAND RD:  RAIL TRAIL; PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL;  PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

EAST RAMBLER DR:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

ELIZABETH LN EAST & WEST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

ELM AVE:                  RAIL TRAIL; IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

EXETER CT:               RAIL TRAIL

FORREST DR:           PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

FRIESLAND DR NORTH:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

FURLONG CT:          RAIL TRAIL

GALLOWAY RD:       IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GEORGIANNA DR WEST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GLASGOW RD:        IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GLENFIELD DR:       IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GLENIFFER HILL RD:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GORDON WILBUR CT:  RAIL TRAIL

GRACE DR:              IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GRANT DRIVE:        RAIL TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

GREAT OAK DR:     IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

GREEN MEADOW CIR:  PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

GREEN VALLEY DR:  PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

GREGORY PL:          IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

JEFFERSON CT:       RAIL TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

JENNIFER LN:          IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

JERICHO ROAD:      RAIL TRAIL

KITTY KNIGHT DR NORTH:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

KNOWELS AVE:      RAIL TRAIL

LARCH CIR:             RAIL TRAIL; PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

LARK DR:                 PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

LOWER HOLLAND RD:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

LYNFORD RD:         IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

LYNFORD RD WEST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

MALLARD RD:        PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

MANOR DR:           RICHBORO TRAIL

MAYFLOWER CIR:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

MERRY DELL DR:   IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

MILL RACE DR:      PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

N FRIESLAND DR:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

N KITTY KNIGHT DR:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

NELSON:                RAIL TRAIL; IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

NEW RD:                 IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

NEWBURYPORT RD:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

NORTON DR EAST & WEST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

OLD JORDAN ROAD:  RAIL TRAIL

PATRICIA RD EAST:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

PATRICIA RD WEST:  RAIL TRAIL

PENN CIR:               RAIL TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

PICKERING BND EAST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

PINE RUN DRIVE:   PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

PINE RUN PLACE:   PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

PONDEROSA DR:   PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

PRINCE CIR:            PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

RACHEL RD:            IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

RAMBLER DR EAST:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

RENEE CIR:              IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

RICHBORO RD:       RICHBORO TRAIL

ROSETTE LN:           IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

ROTTERDAM DRIVE EAST:  RAIL TRAIL

ROTTERDAM DRIVE NORTH:  RAIL TRAIL

RUCKER DR:             IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; RICHBORO TRAIL

SAGER PL:                 IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

SARATOGA CT:         RAIL TRAIL

SCHAN DR:               IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

SECOND STREET PIKE:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

SIGNAL HILL RD:     RAIL TRAIL

SPRING AVE:            RAIL TRAIL

ST. MICHAELS CT:    IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

STEEPLECHASE DR:  RAIL TRAIL

STEVENS LN:            PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

SUNSET DR:             RICHBORO TRAIL

SURREY DR:              IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

TANYARD RD:           IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

TITUS AVE:                RICHBORO TRAIL

UPPER HOLLAND RD:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL; RICHBORO TRAIL

W ELIZABETH LN:    IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

W GEORGIANNA DR:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

W NORTON DR:       IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

W PATRICIA RD:       RAIL TRAIL

W WINDROSE DR:   IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WHITNEY LN:           IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WILLIAM WAY:         RAIL TRAIL; PARKING LOT & PORTA POTTY

WILLOW RD:             IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WILLOWGREENE DR:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WILSON DR:             IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WINDMILL DR:         RAIL TRAIL

WINDROSE DR EAST & WEST:  IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WOODEN BRIDGE RD:  PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

WOODLAKE DR:       PINE RUN CREEK TRAIL

WOODLAND DR:      IRONWORKS CREEK TRAIL

WREN DR:                 RAIL TRAIL