July 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Getting Inspiration from Our Neighbors & Friends

National News

  • Save the Date - Fall Summit, Oct. 25 - 26th, Raleigh, NC


  • An ELF Adventure on the ECG

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles, TV Coverage, and More

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

  • Bridge Between NH and ME Reopens
  • DEEP Commissioner Rides for Farmington Canal Trail
  • Register Now for ME Lighthouse Ride

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

  • New Bike Lanes and Riverfront Trail in Newark, NJ
  • Bike/Ped Advocacy Training Workshop Aug. 2-4
  • Upcoming Events and Bike Rides

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

  • Bridge Grand Opening October 12th

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Route 17 Bridge Between GA and FL Closed for Construction
  • Friends of the M-Path Gear Up

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Getting Inspiration from our Neighbors & Friends

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Our great achievements throughout the East Coast keep my spirits up for the large task ahead. And to help our allies, we like to share our progress and best practices far and wide. It's a two way street, as the ECG wouldn't be a route with 10 million visits without all we've learned from allies within and outside of our corridor.

This past week during a vacation in the Bay Area of California, I was impressed by the cyclists filling San Francisco's bike lanes. The City's percentage of trips by bicycle is almost four times the national average. If they can achieve that in the extremely challenging topography of SF (I wasn't sure if some cars would make it up those hills), we certainly can in our communities. And they aim to more than triple their biking numbers in the years ahead.

I met with one of San Francisco County's transportation leaders, Elizabeth Sall - Deputy Director for their Transportation Authority's Technology Services. She shared several of their successes and challenges in their quest to grow safe biking and walking through the region. As a native East Coaster, she also had a keen interest in the ECG and our progress.

I look forward to working with her and other great partners we can share with and learn from all over the country and world.

Together, we can achieve a Healthy & Sustainable Future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Save the Date - Greenway Summit and ECG Meetings in Raleigh, Oct. 25 and 26

We are gearing up for our Fall State of the Greenway Summit, Trail Council, and Members' meetings which will be held October 26th in Raleigh, NC! We hope you can join us.

We're also planning a bike ride on Friday, October 25 to kick off the Summit. The ride will be about 50 miles from downtown Durham to Raleigh on the ECG. Stay tuned for more details in upcoming e-newsletters and on our Facebook page!

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ECG Spotlight - An ELF Adventure on the ECG
Riding 1,200 Miles in a Revolutionary Vehicle

One of our donors, Mark Stewart of Cambridge, MA, is riding a revolutionary pedal-powered vehicle on the ECG from NC to MA! The ELF, made by Organic Transit of Durham, NC, is a 3-wheeled recumbent bike with full faring (covering). It is powered by pedaling with an electric-assist motor that is recharged either by a normal wall outlet or solar cells on the ELF's roof. These vehicles just began production this year and are selling well.

Mark says, "I love riding my bike in the spring, summer, and fall, but New England winters knock me off it for 3 months. The ELF seemed like a way to stay pedaling and away from my car over the winter." As a long-time ECGA member, Mark decided he would take his new vehicle home via the East Coast Greenway. At about 1,200 miles from Durham to Cambridge, this is the longest distance anyone has ridden yet in an ELF. He expects the trip to take about a month.

Mark in Durham NC w/ OT CEO

Mark and his ELF (left) with Organic Transit CEO Rob Cotter (right) in Durham.

Mark began his ride last Thursday, on a 90+ degree day in Durham. He's been going about 60 miles a day, with a combination of pedaling and battery power. Some highlights of his trip so far have been events sponsored by Mecklenberg County in southern Virginia, including the Lakefest in Clarksville and the South Hill farmer's market. At those, Mark showed off the ELF, talking about it and the ECG.

Misadventures have included a flat tire on a small, rough woodland trail, onto which google maps had misdirected him. (Both Mark and the ELF are fine, and the AAA driver loved the ELF! And our mobile app coming out later this year will be a great help to future users on the ECG.) Due to the width of the vehicle and the distance Mark can go on a battery charge, on some sections he's navigating off the ECG, but he generally is following our route back home. You can follow Mark's blog here: http://orasfarasiget.com/.

Mark will be heading to Annapolis on July 25, and then continuing along the ECG about 60 miles/day, until he reaches Cambridge, MA, sometime in mid-August.

Want to see the ELF in person when Mark comes through your area? Mark welcomes anyone who wants to ride with him, and he is doing events along the way to publicize the vehicle and the ECG. If you would like to ride with him for part of the route, have an event you'd like him to attend, or if you can host him for a night, please contact him through his blog site or by email at madestew (at) gmail.com.

We wish Mark and the ELF a wonderful journey, and can't wait to hear about the rest of his adventures!

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ECG In the News

American Profile: Greenways, the Alternative Commute (Features ECG)

TV News 8, CT: Bikers Raise Awareness for Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

Port Chester Daily Voice, NY: Port Chester Joins 2,900 Mile ECG

The Call, RI: Markings Guide Cyclists Through City Streets

The Hudson Reporter, NJ: Advancing the Morris Canal Greenway

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Regional News: New England
Celebrate Reopened Bridge Link Between NH and ME, August 8

Join us on August 8th at 11 AM to celebrate a critical link in the East Coast Greenway: the opening of the new Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine!

Former Portsmouth Mayor Eileen Foley will perform the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. As a five year old, she cut the ribbon for the original Memorial Bridge on August 17, 1923.

Walkers and cyclists are invited to attend - please meet at the flag pole at Prescott Park at 10:30 AM to walk and bike to the bridge together. Longer bike rides are coming from Maine and New Hampshire for the ceremony - for more information, please email Bob Spiegelman at robertspiegelman (at) comcast.net.

According to the NH DOT, the bridge will be open to vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic prior to that date, as soon as testing is complete. The old bridge was closed in January 2012 and demolished, and construction was begun on the new lift bridge. During the closure, people biking or walking the ECG took a shuttle across the river or detoured via Dover, NH. 

We appreciate the work by everyone involved in this project, and are so glad that the ECG route between New Hampshire and Maine will be over this important bridge once again! (Read more about the project and see photos of construction at www.memorialbridgeproject.com.)

Memorial Bridge

Photo from: www.memorialbridgeproject.com

CT's Environmental Commissioner Rides for Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

On June 29, the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner, Dan Esty, led a ride on the Farmington Canal trail in CT (part of the ECG) to raise awareness about the importance of the trail.

Check out this great video from WTNH (Hartford) to learn a bit about the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, and to hear Commissioner Esty share his thoughts on the ECG.

Thank you to our Board Member Steven Mitchell of Simsbury, CT for his leadership of the ride!

Scenic Maine Lighthouse Ride, Sept. 7

Enjoy Maine's beautiful coast and scenic lighthouses on the Eastern Trail Alliance's 10th Annual Maine Lighthouse Ride, September 7! The ride has 25, 40, 60, and 100-mile options. See here for more information and to register!

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Newark, NJ, is a Rising ECG Star!

In the last few years, Newark has installed bike lanes along the ECG alignment. It now has over two miles of lanes for us to enjoy, the newest segment on Raymond Boulevard from Chapel to Somme Streets.  

New Bike Lane in Newark

New bike lanes on the ECG route on Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ.

Newark has also been working on a major effort to open up the Passaic Riverside for recreation, and the Riverfront Park is unfolding along Raymond Boulevard. This interesting section of trail is all painted bright orange!

Come out on August 3rd for a day of fun activities celebrating the waterfront and new section of trail. At 9 AM is the event Newark Walks to the Water, and from 11:30 AM to 7 PM, the community will enjoy many activities at the Newark River Celebration and Orange Party. (Don't forget to wear orange in honor of the new trail section!)

Bike/Ped Advocacy Training Workshop in White Plains, NY

The Alliance for Biking and Walking is holding one of its Winning Campaigns Training on August 2-4 in White Plains, NY. This action-oriented workshop gives novice and veteran advocates the tools to create and manage powerful campaigns to increase biking and walking in their communities.

In just three days, participants learn key organizing tactics in strategizing, funding and conducting campaigns that transform the transportation landscape in their cities and states. These workshops are only offered a few times per year, so we hope you can attend! See here for more details or to register: Winning Campaigns Training: White Plains, New York.

Upcoming Bike Rides and Events in the Mid-Atlantic

Aug. 21, 5:30 PM: Reception in NYC for Week-A-Year Tour cyclists. Join our NY ECG committee in welcoming the tour riders arriving from Stamford, CT. Held at the Hosteling International's Youth Hostel in NYC, 891 Amsterdam St. (at 103rd St.). Please RSVP to Elizabeth Brody at ebrody8 (at) nyc.rr.com.

Sun, Oct. 13: 6th Annual Hudson Loop Bike Ride, sponsored by the New York and New Jersey ECG Committees. Free, must be ECGA member. Register for the ride (and you can join at a special event rate if not yet a member) here: http://ecgny2013.eventbrite.com 

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Key Bridge Opening in October, Durham, NC

Due to high rainfall this spring and summer, the I-40 bridge of the American Tobacco Trail is now expected to be open in October. The bridge closes a key gap in the 22-mile trail which goes from downtown Durham to Wake and Chatham Counties, over 15 miles of which are East Coast Greenway.

New sidewalk and crossing improvements are nearly finished across Highway 54, just north of the bridge. South of the bridge, the new trail between Renaissance Parkway and Massey Chapel is already being used and enjoyed. A grand opening celebration is planned for Saturday, October 12, from 9 - 11 AM at the Streets of Southpoint mall (behind the cinemas). Look for more details to come!

ATT Bridge

The ATT I-40 bridge construction, July 2013.

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Regional News: Southeast
US Highway 17 Bridge Closed for Maintenance

ALERT - The US Highway 17 Bridge, which connects the ECG between Georgia and Florida across the St. Marys River, is out of service for maintenance and will be for at least a year. To cross the river while the bridge is closed, cyclists can either use US Highway 301 between Folkston, Georgia, and Callahan, Florida ( a detour of more than 60 miles) or they can call for a free bike-carrying courtesy shuttle arranged by Camden Bicycle Center in St. Marys, Georgia. Camden Bicycle Center will also take long-distance ECG hikers across I-95 with their shuttle.

The shuttle crosses I-95 between interchanges at Kingsland, Georgia, and the Highway 17 interchange in Florida. The shuttle is free and can take up to three bikes and riders at a time. For groups, a trailer can be arranged. To utilize the shuttle, call the Camden Bicycle Center at (912) 576-9696 a day or two ahead with your estimated arrival time, and then call again when close to Kingsland.

THANK YOU to Terry and Darlene Landreth, who run the popular bike shop. Terry serves on the ECG Trail Council and on the board of the Coastal Georgia Greenway.

Construction on 17 bridge

Construction on the US Highway 17 Bridge (AKA the "Blue Bridge") in GA/FL. Photo by Terry Landreth.

Friends of the M-Path Gearing Up

Thanks to a grant from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Friends of the M-Path has formed and in September will hold its first steering committee meeting. Patrice Gillespie-Smith coordinates the effort.

The M-Path runs 9.4 miles from the south bank of the Miami River to Dadeland, and extends by way of the 20.9-mile South Dade Trail to the edge of the Florida Keys. It was designated as part of the ECG in 2012.

For details about Friends of the M-Path, see their website at http://friendsofmpath.org or facebook page at Friends of the M-Path.


The Snapper Creek Bridge on the M-Path in Miami

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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 3000-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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