February 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Let's Keep Growing!

National News

  • Welcome, New Subscribers!
  • Join Us at the 2014 National Bike Summit
  • February Membership Special - Win Great Prizes!

Spotlight

  • Spring State of the Greenway Summit in Boston, April 25-26!

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

Regional News: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT)

  • Merritt Parkway Trail Gains Momentum
  • MA Residents - Help Us Plan an Alternate Route

Regional News: Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC)

  • Help Us Close a Critical Gap: Susquehanna River Crossing
  • New York ECG State Committee Meeting Feb. 26
  • Visit Us at Endurance Sports Expo, Feb 22 & 23

Regional News: South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC)

  • Greenway Bridge Over I-40 Closes Key Gap in NC
  • Come Enjoy the New Walnut Creek Trail Extension, Raleigh, NC
  • SC ECG State Committee Off to a Great Start

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Thank You to Our Excellent Florida Partners
  • Seabranch Trail Dedication Celebrated, Martin County, FL




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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Let's Keep Growing!

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

The year 2014 has already begun to show great promise. The team is firing on all cylinders and raising our presence throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

Recently, several volunteers joined me to connect a couple hundred more people to the East Coast Greenway effort at the Jacksonville (FL) Auto Show, including several local ECG members, friends from Subaru of Jacksonville, REI in Jacksonville, Mitchell Auto Group of CT, and our Southeast Consultant Herb Hiller. A big thank-you to Trustee Steve Mitchell and his wife for setting up our tent and to Trustee Paul Haydt for helping me break it down! That outreach, along with our first major petition (which just passed 6,000 signers) to get bike/pedestrian access over the Susquehanna, helped us have record growth in our network to 25,000 people!

That is a number that can transform the Eastern Seaboard into a national leader of health, sustainability, and economic strength.

Looking forward to seeing what other records we can break in this great year in front of us!

Toward a Healthy & Sustainable Future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Welcome, New Enews Subscribers

Thank you to everyone who recently subscribed to our Enews - this has been a record month! A number of people joined our list by signing the Susquehanna river petition (over 6,000 signatures now)! Read more about our work to get safe bicycling and walking access over the Susquehanna below.

We also welcome the members of our partner organization, the Freewalkers! They are a fantastic organization that holds long-distance walks each year in New Jersey and near DC. Many of their walks are on the East Coast Greenway, and we've worked with them for several years.

Other new folks visited our booths at recent auto shows in Boston, MA, and Jacksonville, FL. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by, and to the awesome volunteers who helped at our booths in both cities!

Welcome to all of you! We hope you find our once-a-month newsletters informative, and please let us know if you have questions about the East Coast Greenway.

Our SE Consultant, Herb Hiller, talks with a visitor at the Jacksonville Auto Show. Photo by Steven Mitchell.

Jax Autoshow
ECG Reception at the National Bike Summit, Tues. March 4 at RFD

We are excited to attend the 2014 National Bike Summit, March 3-5 in Washington, D.C. Over 700 participants from all 50 states will build momentum for a Bicycle Friendly America. The Summit features a Women's Bicycling Forum, and informative sessions on a variety of bicycling-related topics. (Register today!)

Are you coming to the Summit, or are you in or near DC? Please join us on Tuesday, March 4th (that's Fat Tuesday, y'all) at a happy hour reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at RFD in the "Backroom Bar." This unique bar is at 810 7th St. NW, about a block from the Renaissance, where the Summit is being held. Laissez les bon Greenway temps rouler!

Please RSVP to debbie@greenway.org so we make sure to have enough appetizers and space! We hope you to see you in DC!

February Membership Special - Join Now and Win Great Prizes!

Happy Winter! It may be snowy on a lot of the ECG, but this is still a great time to join our organization! (Memberships are fully tax-deductible.)

Join a new member before March 1 and you'll be entered in a drawing to win gift certificates (top prize is $500!) from Performance Bicycle, and other great prizes! Join online today!

Snow People on the ECG

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ECG Spotlight - Spring State of the Greenway Summit
Join us in Boston April 25 & 26!

We are really excited about our upcoming State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council meetings in Boston, MA! It's going to be a great weekend to explore and learn about the ECG and connect with our staff, Board, Trail Council, and key local partners.

Here's the calendar of events for the weekend:

Friday, April 25, noon - Bike Ride from Topsfield to Boston. Meet at 10:30 AM at Paul Revere Park for bus shuttle up to Topsfield. Ride starts at noon. Join us on a 35 mile bike ride on the ECG. Relaxed paced, no drop ride. The ride is FREE to current ECGA members, or you can join at a special rate which includes the ride, reception, and a year membership! Read more and purchase tickets here.

Charles River Bike Path

Friday, April 25, 5:30 - 7:30 PM - Reception at John Hancock Building. 601 Congress Street, Z04-037, Boston. We'll kick off the weekend in Boston's historic Seaport District. Free, please register by Thursday, April 23rd to addend. To register, please contact Molly Henry, our New England Coordinator, at molly@greenway.org.

Saturday, April 26, 9 AM - 5 PM - State of the Greenway Summit & Trail Council Meeting. Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, in the Smith Family Conference room - Dana 1620. Free and open to the public.

Enjoy hearing from ECG staff and key local partners during our State of the Greenway Summit. Special guests include Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes; Wendy Landman, Director of Walk Boston; and David Watson, Director of MassBike.

Lunch will be available to purchase for $10. Please RSVP to debbie@greenway.org if you plan to attend the Summit and would like to purchase a lunch.

We're finalizing the details, so stay tuned for more information. We hope to see you in Boston!

Want to volunteer for any of the weekend events? Please email Molly Henry, at molly@greenway.org.

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ECG In the News

Recent News Articles about the ECG!

Sciencline: Rail-to-Trail Transformations Do More Than Encourage Exercise

Baltimore Brew: Jones Falls Trail Enters its Final Phase

News and Observer, Raleigh, NC: Hard to Grasp Greenway Decision

My Horrynews.com: Myrtle Beach, SC: Horry County Plans to Link Bike Park with Greenway

Sun Sentinel: Several Major Bike and Pedestrian Projects Coming to Palm Beach County

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Regional News: New England
Merritt Parkway Gaining Momentum

The Merritt Parkway represents an essential link for the East Coast Greenway in Connecticut. Spanning 38 miles from Greenwich to Stratford, CT, the Parkway is an essential piece of the puzzle creating a much needed link from Connecticut to New York. As a committed advocacy organization run fully by volunteers, The Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance has been actively working with the ECGA promoting the vision to create a safe, attractive multi-use trail which parallels the Merritt Parkway right-of way.

This winter, Connecticut DOT announced plans to host a series of public informational meetings to the residents of Merritt Parkway towns. Two of the nine intersecting towns have established meeting dates, with the remaining seven dates and locations to be determined soon. If you live in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, Bridgeport, or Stratford, have your voice heard and attend the meeting closest to you. For live updates on meeting dates, times, and locations, please visit this link. Also, don’t forget to support the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance by visiting their website and signing the "Supporters of Merritt Parkway Trail Signup Form."

Merritt Parkway Map
Merritt Parkway Greenway Map, courtesy of RPA.

Hey Massachusetts, We need YOU to Wiki

The East Coast Greenway has adopted an "alternative" route which connects Boston and Providence via Cape Cod (the ECG spine route connects via Worcester). As part of the route planning process, the ECG is soliciting routing advice.

If you are familiar with the bicycling routes from Providence, RI to Provincetown, MA please contribute your thoughts and ideas on our Wiki map which can be found here. The comment period closes on March 13th. The final route will be unveiled at the South Coast Bikeway Summit on March 27th. The Summit is 5-8 PM at the Fort Tabor Community Center, 1000 Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford, MA. (Free.) Please contact Jackie Schmidt, Bicycle Coordinator at SRPEDD at (508) 824 - 1367 for more information.

Yankee Roundabout map

Stay tuned for the fall bike tour launch of this exciting new route!

The “Yankee Roundabout” is a fully supported five day bike tour set to take place September 22nd - 27th.

Registration and event details are coming soon. This is an ECG event you won’t want to miss!


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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Help Us Close a Critical Gap: Susquehanna Bridge

We need your help to close one of the most critical gaps in our system: the Susquehanna River crossing in Maryland.

Before it flows into the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna River is 3/4 of a mile wide.  There are two car bridges and two rail bridges at this location, yet none of them currently allow cyclists or pedestrians to cross. You can help change this!

Susqehanna River

Looking north (upstream) at the four current spans near the mouth of the river, from near to far: Amtrak, US Route 40, freight rail, I-95. Photo credit: Ben Longstaff, IAN, UMCES

A new bridge is being designed to carry Amtrak trains over the river between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a safe crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists - IF it is included as part of the project. Make your voice heard: sign the petition to show your support for including pedestrian and bicyclist access in the design of the new Susquehanna bridge. So far over 6,000 people have signed on - we need everyone's support to show how important this is to the ECG community!

sign the petition

We are working to generate support for this project at the federal, state, and local levels. Read more about this important issue on our blog, and contact our Mid-Atlantic Coordinator, Andy Hamilton, for more ways to get involved at andy@greenway.org. Together we can close this gap in the ECG!

New York State Committee Meeting, Next Weds. Feb. 26

New York members and friends - you're invited to the next meeting of the NY ECG State Committee - next Wednesday, Feb. 26th, 4 - 6 PM at NYC Parks' Arsenal West, 4th Floor. 24 W. 61 St., (near Columbus Circle). We'll discuss recent developments and plan upcoming projects and events. The meeting is open to the public, and we welcome new members! Read more in our February Newsletter: NY-ECG Newsletter 2_14

Come See Us at Endurance Sports Expo, Feb. 22 and 23

Come check out the East Coast Greenway tent at the Endurance Sports Expo this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, February 22nd and 23rd, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave, in Oaks, PA. We'll have ECG info. including our FREE Pennsylvania/Delaware and New Jersey Guidebooks! You can also join as a new member at the event, and sign up to win great prizes including a $500 gift certificate from Performance Bicycle!

East Coast Greenway friends also save 40% off admission when you pre-purchase your ticket - use the promo code ese14ecga. Read more about the event: http://www.endurancesportsexpo.com/ Hope to see you there!

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Greenway Bridge Over I-40 Closes Key Gap in North Carolina

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-40 along the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) in Durham, NC is now complete! With this beautiful bridge in place, the ATT is continuous from Downtown Durham to Wake County. The ECG section is about 17 miles from Durham to Cary. The bridge installation project also included four miles of trail improvements on either side of the bridge.

Trail advocates, citizens, and the City of Durham have been working on this for over 20 years - THANK YOU to everyone involved in making this happen! Read more about the project.

Att bridge
Durham ECGA staff Debbie, Niles, and Dennis enjoying the newly-opened bridge over I-40. Photo by Dave Connelly.

Walnut Creek Trail Extension Now Open, Raleigh, NC

An important piece of the East Coast Greenway route in Raleigh has now officially opened. The Walnut Creek Trail extends and connects Worthdale Park to the Neuse River greenway, adding 4.5 miles of trail to the ECG route. With the completion of this greenway extension, the ECG route through the Triangle region is approaching 90% complete for 75 miles. This new section of trail will be up for designation at our State of the Greenway Summit in Boston in April.

Walnut Creek Trail

On the Walnut Creek Trail Extension, Raleigh, NC. Photo by Niles Barnes.

ECG State Committee Kicks Off in South Carolina

The South Carolina ECG state committee recently met in person in Charleston, right before the southern snowstorm shut down many of our South Atlantic cities. About 25 representatives from North Myrtle Beach to Blufton met to strategize about ways to accelerate greenway development along our SC route. Updates from the Waccamaw, Charleston, and Lowcountry regions kicked off the meeting, followed by discussions about the new ECG state committee role and the formation of action-oriented sub-committees.

We look forward to continuing to make strong progress in SC, particularly in advance of the ECG State of the Greenway summit in November. To get involved in SC activities please email niles@greenway.org.

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Regional News: Southeast
Thank You to Our Excellent Florida Partners!

Earlier this month, our Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano enjoyed the hospitality of great hosts in Florida. He attended a number of meetings with some of our key partners in the state, and we are very excited about what's happening in the Sunshine State. Thank you to everyone who met with and hosted us, including the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, Friends of the Amelia Island Trail, and Florida Blue. Special thanks to W. Dale Allen, ECGA Trustee and Chairman of the FL Greenways and Trails Foundation, who set up many of the meetings. We look forward to more great trail progress!

FL Greenways & Trails  Conf.

Florida Greenways and Trails Found. Chairman and ECG Trustee W. Dale Allen, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, and ECGA Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano.

Celebrating the Seabranch Trail, Martin County, FL

The Seabranch Trail was officially dedicated as part of the East Coast Greenway in a ceremony on Jan. 23rd. About 50 people attended the event, including Florida State Parks' Southeast Director, Paul Rice; Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard.

Robert Spiegelman, a long-time ECG member from New Hampshire, was bicycling in Florida at the time and also attended the event. This lovely trail section is about 3 miles long, and goes through the Seabranch Preserve State Park in Martin County, Florida.

Paul Rice of FL State Parks, Sarah Heard, Martin Co. Commissioner, and ECG Member Robert Spiegelman. Photo by Herb Hiller.

Sebranch Sign Unveiling
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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 2,900-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or donating today.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at info@greenway.org.

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.


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