The East Coast Greenway is the backbone of an emerging network of trails along the eastern seaboard that can contribute, both actually and symbolically, to priorities, including:
- Improving public health by empowering active transportation and safe recreation
- Lowering pollution by substituting car trips with bicycling and walking
- Providing greenway construction & maintenance jobs
- Increasing transportation options
- Giving non-drivers, such as children, the elderly, and people without cars, more independence
- Reducing roadway congestion
- Enhancing local economic development
- Connecting people and communities
- Helping to create new and inviting public spaces for everyone to enjoy
- Raising land and home values within the greenway corridor
The ECG provides a way for non-motorized travelers to move safely from town to town, where they would otherwise have to use a car or travel on an unsafe road. Here, cyclists cross the Calhoun Street Bridge from Trenton, NJ to Morrisville,, PA, safely separated from road traffic.
Multi-use trail development is moving ahead full-tilt all across the United States where opportunities to restore public access to our rivers and waterfronts, to convert abandoned rail lines to new uses, and to make our communities more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly have generated strong public involvement. Citizens recognize that trails can become an integral part of local transportation systems, provide recreational outlets for all age groups, and help promote healthier lifestyles.
The East Coast Greenway, with the allure of a long-distance route, can help move local trail projects that play into its corridor ahead. Linking these discrete local trails into a continuous route reaching from Maine to Florida is a challenge of major proportions, but with enormous value to the communities it passes through and to the people who use it. A national recreational resource, the ECG can enhance the local economic value of local trail segments by bringing new users with their wallets to local communities.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance joins local trail to local trail, initially through on-road connections and ultimately through the construction of additional off-road trails. The Greenway will serve as a spine route, linking with other long distance trails, like the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail, the Hudson River Greenway, and the C&O Canal National Park, helping to create an interlinked national trail system. It connects city to city, city to suburb, and suburb to rural area. The Greenway will link together such key sites as state capitals, college campuses, local, state, and national park systems, and outstanding cultural, historical, and natural landmarks offering themed travel possibilities.
By championing the vision and harnessing the resources to make these connections, the East Coast Greenway Alliance fosters the creation of a national resource which some have referred to as an urbanized version of the Appalachian Trail.
To learn more about the benefits of greenways and trails, please download and read these reports:
• Local and Tourism Use of the East Coast Greenway.