April 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Boston Strong

National News

  • In Memory of Cycling Advocate Steven Faust
  • Cabot Tour Rolls from Jacksonville to NYC
  • Ride for the ECG on the Climate Ride, DC to NYC
  • 2013 Annual Report Highlights Trail and Organizational Progress


  • Excellent Greenway Summit in Boston - 10 New Trail Sections Designated

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

Upcoming Events

  • Spring Events on the ECG
  • Upcoming State Committee Meeting
  • Register Now for the Yankee Roundabout Bike Tour

Forward this email to a friend!

Contact us: info@greenway.org


Join Button

Donate Button

Thank you to our major sponsors:

REI logo

tom's of Maine

KoenigRusso logo

Cabot Creamery

blue cross blue shield logo

Performance Bike


Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Boston Strong

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Last weekend was a huge step forward for the Greenway. Boston was an outstanding host community for our spring State of the Greenway weekend, only days after their successful marathon. We enjoyed plenty of sunshine on our Friday bike ride and then got together for a reception and meetings in remarkable venues from the new LEED Platinum John Hancock Building near the seaport to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute close to Fenway. Our friends at Tom's of Maine made it possible for us to celebrate Boston's strength, coming from being one of the more difficult places to bike and walk a decade ago to their current national leadership role. It was a great place to unveil our new Annual Report that highlights the tremendous project and organizational progress of 2013.

In this issue, we also celebrate the life of New York City ECG member Steve Faust. He always shared beautiful pictures from our events and was a tenacious advocate for safe spaces for everyone to enjoy by bike and on foot. His inspiration and spirit lives on, and we wish peace for his family and friends.

To Greenway Progress,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Back to Top

National ECGA News
In Memory of Cycling Advocate Steven Faust

Steve and Linda Faust

Linda and Steven Faust in NYC, 2009

We are saddened at the passing of one of cycling's most ardent advocates, Steven Faust, after a year-long battle with Leukemia. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY, and an active member of many cycling organizations, Steve was a crucial participant in developing and growing New York's Five Boro Bike Ride which now gets well over 30,000 participants. Steve understood what we wanted to do in creating the East Coast Greenway and saw it as a larger vision on which to hang local greenway projects in NYC and elsewhere. He was always there to support us. 

Steve was involved in advancing many portions of the New York City Greenway System, many of which are part of the East Coast Greenway. His many contributions including getting the Hudson River Greenway path on Manhattan's west side expanded from 8 to 12 feet in width, and the current effort to extend the East River Esplanade pathway past the United Nations site. Steve was also a critical force in the removal of six staircases that provided access to the Brooklyn Bridge and replacement with ramps accessible to cyclists and wheelchair users. The bridge is part of the alternate ECG route through Brooklyn.

We regret the loss of this tenacious spirit for a safe cycling future. Steve's wife Linda and children Nathan and Juliette were partners in many of Steve's projects, and we anticipate they will carry forward his effort on behalf of better cycling conditions, with his grandsons and their generation in mind.

-- by Karen Votava

Read more in this piece by the ECGA's first Executive Director, Karen Votava.

Read more about Steve in this article in the New York Daily news.

Cabot Community Tour Rolls out in May

The 2014 Cabot Community Tour: Celebrating the Strength of Communities is excited to partner with the East Coast Greenway Alliance as the tour starts in Jacksonville, FL, on May 17. Stopping for events in cities and towns along the way, the tour runs through June 21 where it culminates with a special celebration at Adventures NYC in the Big Apple. The tour is a partnership with Cabot Creamery Cooperative, volunteer organizations, Habitat for Humanity, credit unions, community leaders and non-profits all along the route.

There are dozens of great events planned from Florida to New York as the tour rolls through - see tour details and a schedule of events here. We hope to see you as the tour rolls through your community!

Myron and Cathy Skott of Georgia are riding the entire tour. In their 60s, the Skotts have enjoyed long-distance cycling for over 20 years. They rode with the first tour of the entire ECG in 2004, and the Cabot Community Tour from Miami to Maine in 2012. The Skotts are doing their ride as a fundraiser for the ECG - they will match all donations given in honor of their tour, up to $1000. To donate, click here, and enter "The Skotts" in the "in honor of" field. Thank you, Skotts and supporters!

Cathy and Myron Skott

Cathy and Myron Skott leading the Cabot Tour ride in Durham, NC in 2012. Photo by Jerry Markatos.

Support the ECG on the Climate Ride

The ECG is proud to be one of the beneficiaries of the Climate Ride! The Climate Ride has several rides around the country to raise funds for a number of non-profits working for greater sustainability, energy efficiency, and low-emissions transportation. We are honored to be included!

Coming up September 20 - 24 is their ride from New York City to Washington, DC! Climate Ride NYC-DC is a grand cycling adventure that connects these two major cities. (Due to time constraints, only a bit of their route follows the ECG.) This east-coast version of Climate Ride will be more than a bike trip – it's an inspiring journey with 200 like-minded people who are united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles - the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation.

Ride to benefit the ECG on the Climate Ride, and get a year ECG membership and jersey! (Please let debbie@greenway.org know when you have signed up.) Thank you, Climate Ride and everyone who's participating for your support of a sustainable future!

Check Out the Recap of One of Our Best Years Yet!

The Greenway grew by 60 new miles, and we became one of the fastest growing non-profits in America! Read all about our 2013 progress in our Annual Report.

In previous years, our State of the Trail Report (which detailed trail status) and Annual Report (which provided a financial summary) have been two separate publications. For the 2013 Annual Report, we combined these documents to provide a more complete picture of our project and organization.

You can download the Annual Report here, or please email debbie@greenway.org if you would like a harcopy sent to you.

Annual Report
Back to Top

ECG Spotlight - Spring Greenway Summit in Boston
Massachusetts Welcomes ECG Advocates for State of the Greenway Weekend

Last weekend ECGA Board, Trail Council, members, volunteers, and staff from up and down the Eastern Seaboard traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, for our spring State of the Greenway Summit. Events included a bike ride on the ECG, a spectacular reception in the Seaport District, a series of informative presentations, and energizing meetings helping to advance the ECG network. (Read more about the weekend events on our blog!)

50 Cyclists Ride from Topsfield to Boston on the ECG: To kick off the weekend, we hosted a Friday bike ride from Topsfield to Boston. Of the 39 miles traveled, approximately 40% of the ride was on greenways, and the weather was 100% perfect! Cyclists enjoyed scenic trails and roads leading through historic New England towns and cities, with urban, wetland, and oceanfront scenery.

Boston Bike Ride
About to start the ride in Topsfield, MA! Photo by Steven Mitchell.

Friday Evening Greenway Celebration in Boston's Greenest Building: The ECGA was fortunate to celebrate greenway progress in the newest and greenest of the John Hancock buildings, which is also Boston's first LEED Platinum certified building. An impressive collection of local advocates, agency staff, ECGA members, generous donors, and ECGA staff and board members celebrated greenway progress.

Speakers included Kristine Aristide, marketing manager for John Hancock and board member for the Boston Cyclists Union (BCU), cycling evangelist Richard Fries, BCU Executive Director Pete Stidman, and BCU President, Vanessa Green.

Tom's of MainePresenting a tile to Andy Cooper of Tom's of Maine.

Saturday's Greenway Summit and Trail Council Meeting: The world-renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute hosted Saturday's State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council meetings. Dr. Jennifer Ligibel started off the morning with a presentation on the inverse correlation between exercise and cancer recurrence, followed by Najah Shakir with Boston Bikes, David Watson of MassBike, and Wendy Landman of WalkBoston, all describing concerted and intertwining efforts to make Boston and Massachusetts more livable.

ECGA Summit
ECGA Board Chair David Read, Wendy Landman of WalkBoston, David Watson of MassBike, Najah Shakir of Boston Bikes, and Dennis Markatos-Soriano. Photo by Robert Russo.

The first half of the day was dedicated to our biannual State of the Greenway Summit, which featured updates on ECG trail development, including new groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, events, and other advances from Maine to Florida. Representatives from many planning agencies and advocacy groups in New England participated in the regional updates. (Read more about the Summit here.)

The afternoon Trail Council meeting included a soft roll-out of the exciting new ECG app which will be officially introduced in May 2014. The app will allow users to more easily navigate the ECG and also to begin crowd-sourcing photos and information on trail conditions and amenities such as public rest rooms and campsites.

Also during our Trail Council meeting, 10 new trails totaling 20 miles were designated into the growing ECG trail network. Designation is the official process for vetting and integrating new trails into the ECG route.

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the weekend a great success! Special thanks go to our presenting sponsor, Tom’s of Maine, for their generous support for the weekend's events. We are also grateful to our silver-level sponsors VHB and Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, supporters John Hancock and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and ALTA Planning + Design.

10 New Trail Sections Designated as ECG

Twenty miles of new trails, in 5 different states, were designated during our Trail Council meeting in Boston. Thank you to everyone who worked to get all of these new trail segments designated!

Some of the highlights include the Tobacco Heritage Trail from Brodnax to Lawrenceville, VA, and the Walnut Creek Trail in Raleigh, NC. Completion of those trails allows us to integrate other existing trails in the ECG travel route, which we were previously unable to safely include due to conditions on the roads leading to them. Now the older and newer trails connect directly, avoiding use of sub-optimal roads.

Hop River Trail

Hop River Trail (new phase), Andover, CT, 1.6 mi

Traveling this stone-dust trail through the woods, you'd have no idea you were so close to the City of Hartford.

Phoenix Plaza

Phoenix Plaza, Hartford, CT, 0.13 mi

This modern plaza, with green-roof treatments, connects the Founders Bridge Promenade with Travelers Plaza as one enters Hartford from the east.

Travelers Plaza

Travelers Plaza, Hartford, CT, 0.11 mi

Connecting Phoenix Plaza with the streets of Hartford, this walkway/bikeway offers peaceful respite from the bustle of downtown. 

ECGA offers an enormous thank-you to both Traveler's and Phoenix for their endorsements to route the ECG on their beautiful plazas.

Bronx River Greenway

Bronx River Greenway (new phase), Bronx, NY, 0.9 mi ALTERNATE ROUTE

The Bronx River Greenway allows greater access to the scenic Bronx River.

Starlight Park

Starlight Park, Bronx, NY, 0.5 mi ALTERNATE ROUTE

More first-class multi-use trail from NYC Parks.

Newark Riverfront

Newark Riverfront Trail, Newark, NJ, 0.6 mi  

Featuring a playground, public artwork, and creative visuals, this is the sort of riverside trail that is the envy of all cities.

Cobblestone Trail

Virginia Central Railway Trail (aka Cobblestone Trail), Fredericksburg, VA, 1.0 mi

This distinctive trail forms most of the ECG route between downtown Fredericksburg and the Fredericksburg National Battlefield, an important National Park Service site.

Tobacco Heritage Trail

Tobacco Heritage Trail (new phase), Lawrenceville-LaCrosse, VA, 10.0 mi

We couldn't be more excited that Lawrenceville, Brodnax, and LaCrosse are finally connected by trail, decades after their railroad link was abandoned. Features include a dramatic crossing of the Meherrin River.

American Tobacco Trail

American Tobacco Trail (2 new phases), Durham, NC, 0.7 mi

The newest pieces of the ATT include a distinctive bridge over 6 lanes of Interstate 40, and a safe crossing of Massey Chapel Road. One of the new sections passes just yards from ECGA's national headquarters.

Walnut Creek Trail

Walnut Creek Trail, Raleigh, NC, 4.5 mi

This gorgeous trail connecting southeast Raleigh to the Neuse River Trail includes sinuous boardwalk, access to ballfields, and a tunnel beneath I-440.

Back to Top

ECG In the News

Recent News Articles and More!

ECG RI News: Making South Coast a Premiere Destination by Bike

South Coast Today: Wikimapping Puts South Coast on East Coast Bike Agenda

Darien News, CT: Merritt Parkway Bike Trail Study Hearing in New Canaan

Delaware Online: Crossroads, Evolution of a Greenway

Cecil Daily, MD: Public Weighs in on Susquehanna Rail Bridge Plans

Streetsblog: Will Maryland Finally Build a Safe Bike/Ped Crossing on the Susquehanna?

The Washington Post: 1000-mile Bike Route to Link Three 911 Sites

The Warren Record, NC: ECG Connections Between NC and VA

The State, SC: Bicycle Club to Discuss Pathways and Greenway at May 1 Meeting

Jacksonville.com: Connecting the ECG Between Georgia and Florida

To see an excellent interview by the Boy Scouts Council of North Florida with ECG Member Mike Pikula about the ECG, go to www.scoutsigns.org  and select the March 2014 video.

Back to Top

Upcoming Events
Spring is Here, with Lots of Events on the ECG!

Durham, NC, Sunday, May 4: We are celebrating the opening of the new bridge over I-40 on the American Tobacco Trail with a bike ride on Sunday, May 4th, at noon! Ride is free, 15 and 30 mile round trip options. Read more and register here.

Wilmington, DE to Philadelphia, PA, Saturday, May 10: Explore the ECG from Wilmington, DE, to Philly by bike on May 10th! We'll take a train to Wilmington and bike back, previewing upcoming trail segments on this 35-mile bike ride. Free for ECG members, or join at a special rate. Bring $5 cash on the day of the ride for a train ticket. Ride is limited to 30 people, so register today! Read more and register here.

Boston Area, MA, Saturday, May 17: Join the FreeWalkers for the inaugural Boston Greenbelt Walk, a one-day, 30-mile walk largely in parks from Oak Grove Station in Malden to Riverside Station in Newton. The walk is free - read more and register here.

Providence, RI, Saturday, May 17: Bike Fest RI - Enjoy a day centered on all things bicycle whether for recreation, sport, or everyday life. The festival will feature live entertainment, an expo area of bicycles and related gear, information and resources about riding in the state, safety and repair demonstrations, food vendors and more. Check out the ECG booth! 10AM to 4PM at The Met School, 325 Public St. Providence, RI. 

Raleigh, NC, Saturday, May 17: Art to Heart Ride, 9:30am - Noon, NC Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. Join us for a ribbon cutting celebration of the Art to Heart Greenway and experience how easy it is to bike from the NC Museum of Art to the heart of downtown! The ride will leave the Art Museum at 10am and includes a combination of on-road and greenway trails for a total of 6 miles. The event is free and all experience levels are invited to participate. Read more about the ride here.

New York City Area: Our New York ECG Committee has some excellent bike rides and other events planned for the Summer, including the Bronxville to Battery Park ride coming up June 1. Read more and register for the rides

Upcoming ECG State Committee Meetings

New York: The next New York ECG State Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 6, from 4-6 PM. Location: NYC Parks "Arsenal West," 4th floor conference room, 24 W. 61st St., Manhattan. All are welcome! You can download the New York Committee's most recent newsletter here, with details about news and upcoming events. We hope to see you May 6th or at an upcoming event!

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts ECG State Committee will meet on Thursday, May 8th, from 6-7:30 PM. Location: Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA (Smith 204, 3rd floor of Smith Building). Please RSVP to molly@greenway.org if you plan to attend.

Explore New England on the Yankee Roundabout Bike Tour!

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 tour you won’t want to miss!

Enjoy 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 ride at yankeeroundabout.com).

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 debbie@greenway.org for more information or to register. Space is very limited - register today!

Back to Top


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.

Copyright 2014, East Coast Greenway Alliance