June 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Enjoying Progress Throughout the Seaboard

National News

  • Amtrak To Add More Bicycle Carrying Capacity
  • Membership Renewal Offer Extended - Renew by July 15 for a Chance to Win $200 Gift Certificate!
  • Follow the ECG from Off-Road to Online
  • Congratulations June Prize Drawing Winners!

Spotlight

  • The 2014 Cabot Tour Celebrates Communities from Florida to New York

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

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

  • Progress Continues on Maine's Eastern Trail
  • Milford, CT, to Get First Contraflow Bike Lane in the State
  • Your Opinion Needed on Merritt Parkway Trail
  • Upcoming Events in New England

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

  • Susquehanna Coalition Advocacy Heats Up
  • Last Chance to Register for the 2014 Week a Year Tour
  • Upcoming Events in the Region

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

  • Trail Progress in Virginia
  • First Mileage Signs Installed in the South Atlantic

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • First Florida Rail-to-Trail Bike Tour Rolls in August




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Contact us: info@greenway.org

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Thank you to our major sponsors:

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tom's of Maine

KoenigRusso logo

Cabot Creamery

blue cross blue shield logo

Performance Bike

 

Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Enjoying Progress Throughout the Seaboard

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

I'm just back from a whirlwind trip meeting with many of our partners and prospective partners from Washington, DC, to coastal Maine. I met with longtime supporters like the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia and the National Park Service in our nation's capital. We charted out plans to strengthen our collaborations.

And I also met with new potential supporters like the Quimby Family Foundation based in Portland, Maine, and Mark Rockefeller in New York City (who will soon launch an online philanthropy social hub, Legacy Connect). It was such a pleasure to connect with these leaders who are making a positive difference in their region and the world.

The travel was a wonderful experience enjoying cooler New England temperatures than the humid Carolina summer back in Durham. More and more people will be able to enjoy by bike and on foot the parks and destinations close to the East Coast Greenway that I was lucky enough to experience, from Acadia National Park in ME to Walden Pond in MA to Central Park in NYC and the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Let's keep deepening and expanding our connections to develop this 2,900-mile American treasure!

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Amtrak To Add More Bicycle Carrying Capacity

One of ECGA's proudest accomplishments of 1999-2000 was our work with Amtrak and the League of American Bicyclists to introduce roll-on/roll-off bicycle service to Amtrak's "Twilight Shoreliner" train, which at that time served the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Newport News, VA, with a baggage car for overnight service.

Unfortunately, that service ended after only one year. Flash forward to today, and Amtrak is again beginning to roll out (pun intended) enhanced bicycle carriage on trains with baggage cars, more resolutely and with a bolder plan. We thank Amtrak leadership and our great friend Champe Burnley of the Virginia Bicycling Federation who has championed this for several years. We will keep Greenway supporters apprised as this develops further, as we see Amtrak bicycle carriage as a great step forward for vacations on the ECG.

Read more in this article on Streetsblog.

Photos: Washington DC, September 14, 2000. (Top) Amtrak's then-President of Northeast Corridor Operations, Stan Bagley, shows off the bicycle racks in a retrofitted baggage car.

(Right) Then-ECGA Board Chair and Co-Founder Pat King addresses the crowd during a press event.

Amtrak press conf 2000

press conf. 2000

Renew Your Membership by July 15 for a Chance to Win $200 Gift Certificate!

Thank you to all our wonderful ECG members who have renewed in the past month - your support is greatly appreciated! For those who haven't had a chance yet, we're doing another prize drawing for anyone who joins renews by July 15 - the grand prize is $200 gift certificate from Performance Bicycle!

If your membership is lapsed or you're due to renew in the first half of the year, you should have received a renewal notice in the mail. You can return the form from the mailing, or renew online if it's more convenient. Membership donations directly support our trail program in your region, helping us advocate for new trail development, as well as placing signs and improving wayfinding.

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Thank you for your support - together we are transforming the Eastern Seaboard through increased biking and walking for travel, commuting, and recreation!

ECG Map

Off-Road Trails and Internet Ways

The ECG is all about getting people outdoors, on trails, and engaged in community, and social media has become an important part of our mission. Facebook, Twitter and our blog give us an opportunity to interact and inform people about the ECG. These easy-to-access platforms increase general awareness of the East Coast Greenway and familiarize people with our mission.

We have been growing online at a significant rate since the beginning of the summer. In the past month we've gathered over 200 new followers on our accounts! We want to keep this momentum going, so we are inviting all our members and subscribers to get online and follow us as we spread multi-use trail culture from off road, to online!

Over the next month we will be holding some online contests, inviting everyone to share pictures of trail use and interaction, and asking you to reach out to policy makers to spotlight the importance of greenways in your community. In the coming days watch out for our first contest for the chance to win some East Coast Greenway gear and other great prizes! And, as always, don't be shy to share your thoughts and ideas about the ECG, walking, biking, or running culture, or greenway systems in general. If we don't see you out there, let's see each other here: follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

fb twitter

- By Shane Feyers, ECGA Summer Fellow

Congratulations to our June Prize Drawing Winners!

Congratulations to our June winners - long-time members Paul K. of NC and Thea and John M. of ME won $200 Performance Bicycle gift certificates! Rich H. of VA won an ECG T-shirt, Cliff O. of CT won an ECG hat, and new member Caroline C. of VA won an ECG vest!

Thank you to Performance Bicycle! We'll draw for another $200 gift certificates in July - join or renew your membership and you'll be automatically entered!

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ECG Spotlight - 2014 Cabot Tour
Cabot Tour Rides for Communities and Good

The 2nd Cabot Community Tour wrapped up in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, June 21st as the dynamic duo that is Myron and Cathy Skott finished their 900+ mile biking adventure. The experienced bicyclists traveled from Jacksonville, Florida, to the Big Apple via the East Coast Greenway route.

The Skotts in Raleigh

The Skotts in Raleigh, NC, at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Read more in this blog article on the Durham and Raleigh, NC tour stops.

The Community Tour is a celebration of volunteers, cooperatives, and service organizations and exemplifies the company's vision that community is built through volunteerism. The Tour tied in a variety of volunteer events, including a cleanup at Jonas Green State Park in Maryland; a charity run and triathlon event in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and a food drive in Savannah, Georgia. Additionally, hundreds of people joined the Skotts at locations along the way in various community bike-riding events.

spoleto booth

Above: Volunteer Jenna Barnes, Basil Campbell, Tour Rider Myron Skott, and ECGA staff Niles Barnes at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Photo courtesy of Cabot Creamery.

Right: Volunteer Renata Luisi at the ECG booth in NYC. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Brody.

ECG booth in NYC

 

A great event was held at Blue Bell Farm in Wilmington, DE, where Delaware First Lady Carla Markell spoke on the importance of volunteerism and thanked Cabot and the Skotts for this incredible undertaking. Cabot's Farmers' Gratitude Grill graciously provided complimentary delicious and cheesy meals to the volunteers at the events.

Myron and Cathy did their ride as a fundraiser for the ECG. They are matching all donations given in honor of their tour, up to $1000 (we are over halfway there!). To donate, click here, and enter "The Skotts" in the "in honor of" field. All donations will go to support our trail program. Thank you, Skotts and supporters!

Many congratulations to the Skotts on a terrific ride and much appreciation for the partnership fostered between Cabot and the East Coast Greenway!

- By Laura Bader, ECGA Summer Fellow

Andy giving Tile to DE First Lady
Andy Hamilton presenting an ECG tile to Delaware First Lady Carla Markell.

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ECG In the News

Recent News Articles about the ECG!

Dallas, TX, Morning News: Dallas Women On 3,000 Mile Bike Ride to Raise Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Adventure Cycling Bike Bits Newsletter: Yankee Roundabout Bike Tour

EcoRI news: New Bicycling Tour Offers a Roundabout Ride

SI Live, Staten Island, NY: Bike Tour to Deliver Adventure, Cheese to Home Site

Chesterfield Observer.com, VA: Pocahontas Bike Trails Part of New Regional Ride

So. VA Now.com: Next Phase for Tobacco Heritage Trail

Raleigh Public Record: Looking Back at 25 Years of Greenway Expansion - Raleigh's long-time Greenway Planner Vic Lebsock has retired. The ECGA has donated funds for a bench in his honor along the ECG in Raleigh. Vic, we thank you for your excellent work and salute your dedication to Greenways throughout the region!

Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL: Riverfront Destination Includes Trail Development

Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL: New Races Show off Volusia's Trail System

Florida Bicycle Association Summer 2014 Newsletter. Urban Greenway Launches the 2014 Cabot Tour (link will download pdf newsletter)

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Regional News: New England
Great Progress on Maine's Eastern Trail!

The 65-mile Eastern Trail stretching from South Portland's Bug Light Park to Kittery, Maine, is now nearly a third off-road. The entire Eastern Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway.

Thanks to a match grant of $367,000 provided by the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS), the town of Scarborough now has the $530,000 needed to start construction for 1 mile of the 1.5 mile section from the Nonesuch River to the Wainwright Athletic Complex in South Portland. Construction for the Pleasant Hill Road to Wainwright section is projected to start in late 2014 or early 2015.

In the meantime, the Eastern Trail Alliance is working with the town of Scarborough to find the funds needed to close the remaining 0.5 mile of gap from the Nonesuch River to Pleasant Hill Road. The projected $3 million segment includes an active railroad and a river crossing.

In keeping with the stream of good news along Maine's Eastern Trail, the town of Wells voted to fund preliminary designs to draft a plan that would extend the Eastern Trail 7.35 miles from West Kennebunk through Wells to the North Berwick town line.

ETA logo
Connecticut to Get Their First Contraflow Bike Lane
The East Coast Greenway Alliance is teaming up with Milford, Connecticut, to implement the state's first contraflow bike lane. The concept was born when our Trail Coordinator Eric Weis met with Connecticut DOT's Kate Rattan and Milford planner David Sulkis. The meeting's focal point was on Shipyard Lane, a lightly used, one-way street only accessible to ECG northbound users. Milford Mayor Ben Blake gave the project a green light this spring. contraflow bike sign

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is currently coordinating with the Milford Public Works Department, Connecticut DOT, and the Milford Planning Department to design this segment as a contraflow bike lane. The project will connect both north and southbound travelers through the quarter mile stretch bounded by Harborside Drive and the pedestrian bridge spanning the harbor.

Connecticut resident Timothy Liddell provided a generous grant to improve bicycling infrastructure in Milford after he was struck by a car while biking on the roadways there. (He was not badly hurt, thank goodness.) Thanks to Mr. Liddell's donation, the ECGA is able to contribute the paint, signs and shared lane marking stencil to ensure the project is completed.

We couldn't be happier to be introducing Connecticut's first contraflow bike lane, and to have such a great team in Milford partnering to make it happen! We hope that trail users will soon enjoy a safer and more direct route as they're heading toward New York.

Share Your Support for the Merritt Parkway Trail On a Current News Poll
Please share your opinion about the Merritt Parkway Trail in this very short poll. You can stay apprised of trail progress and learn more here. Thank you!
Upcoming Events in New England

Saturday, June 28th - The Freewalkers Connecticut Coast Walk #2, A one-day 16 mile walk along the ECG and Long Island Sound from South Norwalk to Bridgeport following the ECG and coastal trails. Free and open to the public (8am-4pm).

Sunday, June 29th, 12pm - Providence, RI Cyclovia. Come visit us at the ECG tent!

Monday, June 30, 10am-noon - Bike Walk Connecticut's Complete Streets Leadership Roundtable at Middlesex Community College. Chapman Hall 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown, CT 06457.

Friday & Saturday, July 25th and 26th - Maine's first overnight trail relay on the Down East Sunrise Trail from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine. Click here to learn more & register.

Saturday, August 16, 7:30 am-3pm - Brunswick-Lewiston Bikes and Balloon Festival. Join the East Coast Greenway Alliance and Rainbow Bicycle of Lewiston Maine for a 40 mile round trip festival hopping tour. Stops include the Great Falls Balloon Festival and Brunswick Downtown Arts Festival. Hope to see you there! REGISTER today!

September 21-27th - Yankee Roudabout, a 5 day tour on the East Coast Greenway exploring southern New England’s cultural, maritime, and industrial heritage. Reserve your spot today!


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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Susquehanna Coalition Advocacy Heats Up

Trying to cross the Susquehanna River on foot or by bike? At present, there is no safe and accessible route to do so. The ECGA has brought together the Safe Susquehanna Crossing Coalition to address this issue. This is a group of organizations and companies dedicated to the development of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland.

The Coalition -- which currently reaches around 40 million people -- is urging the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Amtrak, and the Federal Railroad Administration to include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations with the new rail bridge project that is planned to replace the existing 108-year-old Amtrak bridge. Please consider supporting the Coalition as we aim to build a bridge that will serve multiple modes, connecting communities by rail, bike, and foot, for the next 100 years. Make your voice heard by signing the petition in support of this endeavor!

Susquehanna River

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

Special thanks to all the members of the Susquehanna Safe Crossing Coalition:

  • AARP
  • Adventure Cycling Association
  • Alliance for Biking and Walking
  • American Canoe Association
  • American Heart Association
  • America Walks
  • Backpacker Magazine
  • Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (Bike AAA)
  • Bike Delaware
  • Bike Maryland
  • Bikemore
  • East Coast Greenway Alliance
  • League of American Bicyclists
  • Mason Dixon Trail
  • New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
  • People for Bikes
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • September Eleventh National Memorial Trail
  • Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area
  • Washington Area Bicycle Association
Last Chance to Register for Our 2014 Week a Year Tour!

We have a few spots left on our 2014 "Week a Year Tour" which 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 debbie@greenway.org for more information or if you wish to register.

DC Lincoln Memorial
Upcoming Events in the Mid-Atlantic

Bike Rides:

July 13: Van Cortland to Kensico Dam, 25 miles, with the Bronx River Alliance.
August 3: Circle Manhattan by Bike, a 32-mile loop, with Common Ground-NYC.

For information and to register: www.eventbrite.com/o/east-coast-greenway-alliance-2079141823

Walks:

July 12: Philadelphia Freedom Walk, 21 miles, on the ECG in Philadelphia, free and open to the public. Sponsored by partner FreeWalkers, freewalkers.org.

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Trail Progress in Virginia

The Summer heat is bearing down on the South Atlantic states, but the greenway progress isn't slowing down! The Bike Virginia Tour (which went from Chesterfield to Williamsburg) set off on June 20th, and ECG staff, volunteers and state committee members were happy to be at Pocahontas State Park for rider registration. ECGA was a proud promotional and supporting organization of this year's Bike VA Tour.

In related good news, Chesterfield County, VA is in the process of developing a robust bikeways and trails plan for the county. The process includes 6 public community workshops and an online survey. The plan hopes to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across the county while also supporting the development of greenway trails. Visit the Chesterfield County Bikeways and Trails website to learn more and to get involved.

Niles and Heather Barrar

ECG South Atlantic Coordinator Niles Barnes and Heather Barrar, Senior Planner for the Chesterfield County Planning Department at the June 19th Community workshop at the Chester YMCA.

First ECG Mileage Sign in the South Atlantic!

The first of many ECG mileage signs for the South Atlantic region has been installed in Durham, NC, at the American Tobacco Trail kiosk in downtown Durham. Additional signs are being ordered for trails in Virginia and South Carolina as well. Many thanks to ECGA Board Chair David Read for sponsoring the mileage signs!

ATT Mileage Sign

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Regional News: Southeast
First Florida Rail-to-Trail Tour Will Roll in August

The First Florida Rail-to-Trail Tour that combines SunRail trains with the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop trail in northeast Florida will start August 1. The rail line opened earlier this month, allowing people to take the train from Orlando to the trail.

Four cyclists will make this inaugural week-long ride: former Florida Bicycle Association Executive Directors Laura Hallam and Carol Wilson, former FBA Chair Mighk Wilson, and cinematographer Robert Seidler. The East Coast Greenway Alliance is supporting the tour by providing cue sheets and GPS coordinates for the cyclists to follow. The route includes four counties of Greenway spine route between Titusville and St. Augustine.

Sunrail Logo

Chief sponsors in addition to the ECGA include VISIT FLORIDA, Florida Hospital System, SunRail, the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and Orange Cycle.

The week-long ride is not open to the public, but several groups of cyclists will join the riders for part of the first day. Email info@greenway.org if you would like more information.

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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.


Copyright 2014, East Coast Greenway Alliance