March 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Like the Spring

National News

  • How Supreme Court Ruling on Rail-Trails Affects the ECG
  • Registration Open for the 2014 Week a Year Tour
  • Gearing Up for Our Greenway Summit in Boston, April 25-26
  • Congratulations Prize Drawing Winners!


  • Bringing the ECG Message to Washington

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

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

  • Community Support for Charter Oak Greenway
  • Exploring New England on Yankee Roundabout Tour

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

  • Delaware Is On a Roll
  • 2014 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, May 1
  • Freewalkers Plan Great Events for 2014

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

  • Charleston SC Gets Bike/Walk Friendly Solution for Bridge
  • Now Hiring: Summer Intern in NC
  • Trail Ribbon Cuttings in NC and VA in April

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • ECG Partners with Gullah Geechee National Heritage Corridor
  • Cumberland Island Ferry Proposed to Connect FL and GA

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Like the Spring

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

For the first time in a while, we've had quite a winter throughout our Eastern Seaboard. My cold walk to meetings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a few weeks ago helped me appreciate the coming spring. And now it's upon us!

Flowers are busting open throughout the South and heading north quickly. The greenways are filling with runners, walkers, and cyclists beyond the all-weather stalwarts who have been frequenting throughout the ice, snow, and sleet. I'm proud we have so many new sections, like our bridge over I-40 in North Carolina and the coming Tobacco Heritage Trail segment in Virginia, ready for families eager to end their hibernation and get back into nature.

This spring, we can make the East Coast Greenway burst onto the scene like a proud daffodil, an awe-inspiring crocus, or a coveted dogtooth lily. Let's share the Greenway in the months ahead and keep moving our dream forward of a safe, accessible route for all.

Toward a Healthy & Sustainable Future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
How the Supreme Court Ruling on Rail-Trails Affects the ECG

A recent Supreme Court decision regarding rail-trails ruled that ownership of land granted by the Federal government to railroad companies over a century ago will revert to the adjacent landowner upon the cessation of rail service. This has caused great consternation in the trails community. We anticipate this will have little effect on the ECG, since the decision does not pertain to railbanked corridors, which is what most east coast rail-trails are built on; this ruling is pertinent mostly to rail-trails in the western US.

We will keep you apprised if we learn anything which suggests impact on trails which are parts of the East Coast Greenway trail system. Read more in this analysis from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Register Now for 2014 Week a Year Tour

The fourth year of our "Week a Year Tour" is coming up this Oct. 5 - 11! Forty riders will explore the ECG from Philadelphia, PA, to Fredericksburg, VA, riding through some of the most historic and beautiful cities along our route, including Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC.

This ride is a fund-raiser for the ECG - last year's tour group raised over $25,000! Read more details here, and email for more information or if you wish to register. Space is limited; please register now!

Lincoln Memorial
Gearing Up for Boston State of the Greenway Summit and Events

We are really excited about our upcoming State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council meetings in Boston, MA, on April 26th! (9 AM to 5 PM, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, in the Smith Family Conference room - Dana 1620).

Free and open to the public. Special guests include Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes; Wendy Landman, Director of Walk Boston; and David Watson, Director of MassBike. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend the Summit and would like to purchase a lunch.

Kick off the weekend with our 35-mile bike ride and a reception at the historic John Hancock building, Friday, April 25th! Read more about all the weekend's events on our blog.

Congratulations to our Prize Drawing Winners!

Congratulations to our big winners, Denise O. from Florida won a $500 gift certificate from Performance Bicycle! And to Peggy D. from PA, who won a bag of ECG gear, and Eric D. from PA (a new ECGA member) won an ECG t-shirt!

Thank you to Performance Bicycle, and to everyone who signed up for our drawing, and joined as a new member in February!

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ECG Spotlight - National Bike Summit
Bringing the ECG Message to Washington

Another snowstorm rolling through the Mid-Atlantic didn't stop the East Coast Greenway Alliance from making a big impact at this year's National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Though we missed a few of the speakers, we made it just in time to hear US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speak. His inspiring words were full of support for cycling and walking.

Now it's time for us to effectively share investment opportunities throughout our corridor that can help him allocate a small sliver of his over $75 billion per year budget. He encourages all of us to apply to participate in the TIGER grant process for funding (Round IV, Transportation Investment to Generate Economic Recovery).

Sec. Foxx and ECGA Director

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx with ECGA Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Our East Coast Greenway evening reception attracted many of our key allies from the League of American Bicyclists (John Siemiatkoski of MA), Rails to Trails Conservancy (Keith Laughlin of DC), Adventure Cycling Association (Ginny Sullivan of MT), and other regional and state partners from throughout our Maine to Florida corridor (ME, MA, RI, NJ, PA, MD, DC, VA, NC, and SC). Thanks to everyone for celebrating Greenway Bon Temps on Mardi Gras with us!

ECG Reception in DC

Tu Way Greenway Way! ECG reception in DC, Tues. March 4.

The following day we met with Congressmembers from both the House and Senate throughout the corridor before another networking reception with our allies and members of Congress. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley even spoke at the reception to celebrate a big victory to convert one lane on the Ashley River Bridge (on the ECG route) from cars to biking and walking. He got a huge ovation for his commitment.

RI Delegation ECGA w/ Senator Hagan

(Left) ECGA staff Eric and Molly with Rhode Island's delegation meet with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

(Right) ECGA staff Dennis and Niles meet with NC Senator Kay Hagan.

Our growing relationships with federal leaders, movement allies, and key partners made the 2014 National Bike Summit a great investment of staff's time and resources. Here's to strong progress before we reconvene in DC next winter!

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ECG In the News

Recent News Articles about the ECG! Can A National Movement for Protected Bike Lanes Make Cycling Mainstream?

Florida Times Union: Fernandina Beach Group Wants Ferry Service to Cumberland Island

Star News Online: Wilmington is Start of Cross-country Skateboarding Journey Unhappy Trails - Supreme Court Decision Affects Trails (Please read more about the impacts of this decision on the ECG in our National News section.)

The Herald News, MA: March 27 Bike Summit will Discuss Plans for South Coast Bikeway

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Regional News: New England
Strong Support for the Charter Oak Greenway Extension

Thursday, Feb. 27th was a snowy evening in the town of Bolton, CT, but that didn't stop about 50 locals from packing into Town Hall. DOT's much anticipated Charter Oak Greenway extension was the topic of the night, which was presented to an engaged audience comprised of residents and trail enthusiasts.

The Charter Oak Greenway, a 9.8 mile multi-use, paved path connecting East Hartford to Bolton, CT, is a gem for the communities of East Hartford, Manchester, and Bolton. Since their last public information meeting held in January 2013, DOT has worked closely with abutting property owners, community stakeholders, and the Town of Bolton to present a final design which incorporates local interests. With this piece in place, Bolton will fill the 2.2 mile gap between the Manchester town line and the Hop River Trail. Plans include a paved 10 foot wide right-of-way including a brand new pedestrian bridge crossing route 6/44 westbound.

Charter Oak Greenway

DOT expects to finalize the designs October 2015 and complete construction by 2018. The construction cost is estimated to be approximately $9 million with anticipated 80% federal and 20% state funds. For more details and maps download this public information handout here.

Explore New England on the Yankee Roundabout Bike Tour!

Enjoy a week cycling through beautiful and historic southeastern New England, with a focus on the region's cultural, maritime, and industrial heritage. This loop tour starts Sept. 21 in Boston, with 5 riding days and 6 nights accommodations. Breakfasts, lunches, and ferry tickets are included. (Read more about the itinerary here.)

The ride is fully supported with a mechanic, SAG wagon, luggage service, and experienced (Adventure Cycling Association-trained) ride leader. Cost: $1,399 includes hotels, breakfast and lunch, ferry ticket, and ride support. Please email for more information or to register. Space is very limited - register today!

Yankee Roundabout map

The Yankee Roundabout is a fully supported five day bike tour set to take place September 21nd - 27th.

This is an ECG event you won’t want to miss!

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Delaware Is On a Roll!

What a victory for the East Coast Greenway and for the state of Delaware! Wilmington's local planning organization, WILMAPCO, recently awarded federal funding to construct the remainder of the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail that connects Wilmington to new Castle (5.25 miles is already completed). The remaining 1.25 mile section includes a river and wetland crossings. This is a key piece of the ECG in the region! Read more here.

Delaware Map

In more good news, funding was awarded to connect Newark, DE, to the Maryland line just north of Elkton, MD. Thank you to the great leadership in the state: Governor Markell, Transportation Secretary Bhatt, and Environment Secretary O’Mara, and our friends at WILMAPCO.

On Saturday, May 10th, there will be a 35-mile ride from Wilmington, DE, to Philadelphia, PA. We'll explore the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail and see future greenway connections through Delaware County and Philadelphia. Please email Andy Hamilton ( for details. It should be a great day for a ride!

Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, May 1
Let's keep the momentum going, Delaware! The ECG is a co-sponsor of the 2014 Walkable Bikeable Delaware Summit, May 1st in Dover. Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, will announce, in person, Delaware's new Bicycle Friendly State ranking! Just a few years ago Delaware was only ranked in the 30s among U.S. states for bicycle friendliness. Last year they were ranked 5th - what will they be ranked as of May 1?
Freewalkers Have Great Events Planned for 2014

Our partners the Freewalkers have a packed calendar of great events coming up - many of them on the ECG! Their next walk is the Great Canal Walk (40 miles, April 5th), on the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Their walks are free. Don't forget the Cross Jersey Walking Challenge - to walk 100 miles across the state in 2014!

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Walkers and Cyclists Will Get Bridge Access in Charleston, SC

Congratulations to our friends in Charleston! Crossing the Legare Bridge over the Ashley River has been difficult for bicyclists and walkers for years, and this been one of our most challenging ECG sections. We were elated when Charleston's City Council voted recently to re-assign one of four car lanes on the northbound Route 17 Bridge to be used for biking and walking exclusively. This will provide a convenient connection from the West Ashley Greenway to downtown Charleston.

Local advocates have been working for years to find a solution, and their efforts to build community support for safe access across the bridge paid off. The measure approved by the City Council provides support to a Charleston County and state Department of Transportation memorandum agreement to go forward on the next design phase of the lane. The project is anticipated to be completed in 12 to 18 months. Read more in this news article.

Seeking a Summer Intern in North Carolina

We are looking for a Summer intern in our Durham, NC, office to help support major events and the development of our trail program throughout the Carolinas and beyond. Responsibilities will include:

  • Helping grow our network of allies and members in partnership with staff.
  • Supporting the development of major events and projects.
  • Helping support our trail program in increasing designations and signage.
  • Assisting in communications and promotion via our online web content and social media.

To apply, please send a resume and letter of interest to South Atlantic Coordinator Niles Barnes (via email to The deadline is April 14. Questions? Email Niles or call (919) 973-0685.

North Carolina & Virginia Celebrate Trail Openings in April!

The ECGA will be designating both of these great new trail segments at our Spring Summit in Boston!

On Tuesday, April 8 at 4:00pm, the City of Raleigh will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Worthdale Park and Community Center to celebrate the new Walnut Creek Greenway Trail extension. To attend, RSVP by email to by April 6.

A ribbon cutting will also take place on Earth Day, April 22, 11 AM near Evans Creek Rd. trailhead in Brodnax, VA, to celebrate ten new miles of The Tobacco Heritage Trail in Virginia. Following the ribbon cutting will be a reception in Lawrenceville at Elm Acres (Brunswick Stew will be served!). The festivities will conclude with the opportunity for walkers, runners, cyclists and equestrians to tour the new trail at 2 PM. For more information or to RSVP, contact Trail Coordinator Heather Susee at or (434) 447-7101.

Tobacco Heritage Trail

Tobacco Heritage Trail, Virginia

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Regional News: Southeast
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Becomes New Partner

In February, the congressionally-designated Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (GGCHC) welcomed the East Coast Greenway Alliance as a new partner to advance mutual interests. Their corridor overlaps with the East Coast Greenway route between Wilmington, North Carolina, and St. Augustine, Florida.

The Heritage Corridor is one of 49 National Heritage Areas, all administered by the National Park Service. The Gullah Geechee NHA is said to be alone in representing a living culture. Gullahs and Geechees, who were skilled rice farmers in coastal West Africa, were enslaved and brought to southeastern America to grow the crop in the coastal lowlands. Across centuries, they have retained a significant portion of their ancestral legacy.

We look forward to collaborating with the GGCHC to promote and celebrate the rich Gullah Geechee heritage.

Dr. Campbell and Herb Hiller

Dr. Emory Shaw Campbell, President, Gullah Heritage Consulting Services, with ECGA's Herb Hiller

Additional Ferry Service Proposed to Cumberland Island, GA

Friends of the Amelia Island Trail is leading a campaign to add ferry service between the northeast port town of Fernandina Beach in Florida and the Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia. The service would reinstate a connection between Florida and the Georgia port town of St. Marys across Cumberland Sound.

Currently, cyclists and hikers can only connect along a narrow span across the St. Marys River, and either northbound or southbound must navigate a difficult and often dangerous route - US Highway 17 between the river and Kingsland. This narrow, two-lane road has no bike lanes or shoulders and is heavily used by logging trucks, and cyclists must also cross a narrow, steel-grate bridge. An additional ferry between Fernandina Beach and Cumberland Island with bicycle access would provide a much-needed safe connection between Georgia and Florida on the ECG.

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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.

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