July 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • A Busy Summer

National News

  • Congratulations New ECGA League Certified Cycling Instructors!
  • Last Chance to Register for the Climate Ride NY to DC
  • 4th of July Facebook Photo Contest Winner
  • Announcing Our July Prize Drawing Winners

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

Upcoming Events All Regions

  • Great Walks and Bike Rides Along the ECG

Regional News: All Regions

  • Susquehanna Coalition Helps Move Crossing Concept Forward
  • Your Input Needed on RI Trails Survey
  • Show Your Support for the Merritt Parkway Trail
  • EPA Grant will Fund Study for New Section of Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia
  • NC Trails Coalition Meets with Governor's Cabinet to Accelerate Progress
  • New Amenities Coming to Woodbine Trail in GA
  • Florida Legislature Approves Funding for Coast to Coast Trail

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Contact us: info@greenway.org


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Performance Bike


Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

A Busy Summer

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

The East Coast Greenway continues to gain momentum and reach new partners. Some years there are periods in summer when things calm down after a busy spring. But that hasn't been the case in 2014. Key meetings with elected officials, philanthropic leaders, and partner organizations have ramped up our momentum throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

Even during busy times, I try to remind myself how important it is to make time to connect with nature and be active. I hope you are enjoying your summer with plenty of walking, biking, or running on your favorite greenway. If you're lucky you might even find a generous blackberry or blueberry bush along the way.

To continued strong partnerships and progress throughout our corridor!

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Congratulations to New ECGA League Certified Bicycling Instructors!

ECGA Trustee Steve Mitchell recently hosted a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor program at his auto dealership in Simsbury, CT. (This was a first ever LAB program hosted in a car dealership!) Our Mid-Atlantic Coordinator Andy Hamilton was one of the 13 participants in this landmark training program, and he and Steve are now League Certified Instructors. Congratulations!

LAB Class

If you are on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Weatogue, CT, check out the tent behind the Mitchell auto dealership - there's a picnic table and information about the ECG. Thank you so much for your support of the ECG and safe bicycling and walking, Steve and Mitchell Auto Group!

Last Chance to Register for the Climate Ride NY to DC!

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

Coming up September 20 - 24 is their ride from New York City to Washington, DC! (Due to time constraints, only a bit of their route follows the ECG.) 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.)

This year there is also a Climate March in NYC on September 21st, and you can do BOTH the ride and march if you wish! Read more here.

Thank You to Our 4th of July FaceBook Photo Contest Participants!

4th of July

Congratulations to Ken Hoffner who won our 4th of July Facebook photo contest with his "Liberty on Two Wheels," photo taken while riding the East Coast Greenway at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ.

Bikes and flags: this is American Spirit! Ken won some great ECG gear for his submission.

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted photos - they were all excellent! You can see all the photos submitted here.

Announcing Our July Prize Drawing Winners!

Congratulations to our July winners - ECG member Cass C. of Raleigh won a $200 gift certificate from Performance Bicycle, and Faun F. won an ECG t-shirt! Thank you to everyone who participated and to Performance Bicycle!

Join or renew your membership to be entered in the August drawing for another $200 gift certificate! 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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ECG In the News

Recent News Articles and More about the ECG!

Current, ME: Milestone Year for Beloved Eastern Trail

ECO RI: Amtrak Looks to Become More Bike Friendly

Hartford Courant: Paths Well Traveled: Connecticut's Trail System

Sentinel, NJ: Officials Consider Options for Middlesex Greenway

Walter Magazine, Raleigh, NC: Raleigh's Amazing Greenways

Daytona News Journal: SunRail Commuter Train Opens New Trails for Bicyclists

St. Augustine Record: Cyclists to Ride 260 Mile Loop on SunRail Trail

Radio: Interview on Bicycle Safety and Trails with ECGA Trustee Steven Mitchell (Discussion about the ECG begins at approx. minute 7.)

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Upcoming Events: All Regions
Great Walks, Bike Rides and More!

Thursday, July 31 (ME) - Registration deadline for the 2nd annual BikeMaine ride (September 6-13, 2014). Our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will take riders along much of the ECG, where riders will visit rushing rivers, tranquil lakes and the beautiful coast of Maine. The 348-mile supported loop ride is an adventure you won’t want to miss! Register here.

Sunday, August 3 (NY) - Circle Manhattan by Bike, a 32-mile loop, ECG NY Committee with Common Ground-NYC. This ride is free for ECGA members, $20 for others, which gives you a year membership in the ECGA! Read more and register.

Thursday, August 14, 4-6pm (MA) - Massachusetts State Committee Meeting. Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, 2nd Floor, Union Station, 2 Washington Square, Worcester, MA, 01604. For more details contact molly@greenway.org.

Saturday, August 16, 7:30am-3pm (ME) - 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. Registration entitles you to a 50% discount on a two hour boat rental from L/A Canoe and Kayak Rentals during the morning or evening balloon launches. Big thanks to our friends at the Androscoggin Land Trust for setting that up! Hope to see you there! REGISTER today!

Saturday, August 16, 8:45am to 5pm (CT) - Connecticut Coast Walk #3, Bridgeport to New Haven. Enjoy a free, one-day, 24-mile walk hosted by the Freewalkers along the East Coast Greenway and Long Island Sound from Bridgeport to New Haven. Starts at Bridgeport Metro North Station, 525 Water Street.

Thursday, August 28, 10:00am - 2:30pm (NC) - ECG North Carolina State Committee meeting. The Wilmington MPO is kindly hosting the next NC State Committee meeting at Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC, 28401. The meeting starts at 10:00 and will include a break and walk to lunch. After lunch, we will reconvene to wrap up discussions. Meeting is open to the public.

Friday, September 12, 10am (SC) - Webinar for ECG SC State Committee. Topic: Advancing the East Coast Greenway. Join us on this webinar for understanding the ECG route adoption process and ECG design standards. Understand how the ECG "adopts" new trails into its route, trail design standards for the ECG, steps in the ECG designation process, and route terminology (i.e. "interim," "permanent," "alternate," etc). Though it will be tailored for South Carolina, everyone is welcome to attend who wants to learn more about our trail program. Please email niles@greenway.org if you are interested.

Sunday, September 14 (FL) - 25th Annual Endless Summer Watermelon bicycle ride. Our friends at the North Florida Bicycle Club are hosting this ride through historic, tree lined Fernandina Beach, Fort Clinch State Park and along the ocean on Amelia Island. Routes from 20 to 100 miles. Come for the ride and stay for the watermelon! Go to NFBC.us for registration details.

Saturday, September 20 (RI) - Fifth Annual Woony Ride. Our friends at the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council are putting on this ride which benefits youth and environmental programs along the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, RI. The route will follow a proposed new northern RI bike route, including an 18-mile on- and off-road segment of the ECG. Options of 5, 10, 27, 50, and 62-mile rides to accommodate riders of all abilities. Register here!

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

Saturday, September 27 (VA) - Battle or Paddle Kayak and Canoe Race. The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River are holding their 7th Annual "Battle or Paddle" to support their work developing this blueway-greenway (which is designated as part of the ECG)! Read more and register here.

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Regional News: All Regions
ECGA's Susquehanna Coalition Helps Move Bridge Crossing Concept Forward

The East Coast Greenway Alliance has been coordinating the support of local governments to demonstrate to MDOT and Amtrak that a bridge accommodating pedestrians and bicyclists is extremely important to the surrounding communities. We have also gained bipartisan support for the bridge in Washington! U.S. Representative Andy Harris of Maryland has signed a letter of support, and U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland co-signed a letter of support for bicycle and pedestrian access to the bridge.

We have heard that because of our advocacy work, the consultants working on the bridge have brought a bicycle and pedestrian planner onto the design team! The bridge is getting closer to becoming a reality, but we need to keep up the advocacy for this important project. You can help: please sign this petition showing your support for safe pedestrian and bicycle access across the Susquehanna River!

Shawn Gavin and Andy Hamilton

EPA Regional Administrator, Shawn Garvin, and Andy Hamilton talking about the Susquehanna Bridge and other important water access points in the Mid-Atlantic.

Your Input Needed on RI Trails Survey

Do you use the Rhode Island bike paths? Do you ever visit Rhode Island and enjoy the trails? Which is your favorite?

The University of Rhode Island is conducting a study on trail use in the Ocean State. Please help them by clicking the link below and taking 10 minutes to complete this short survey. URI will stop collecting surveys on August 9th. Your input will help with trail policy decisions and funding opportunities. BIG Thanks in advance! www.RIBikePath.com/club

The Merritt Parkway Trail in Connecticut Still Needs Support

Southwestern Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway bisects eight coastal communities in Fairfield County and represents a vital gap for the New England section of the East Coast Greenway. The 37.5 mile stretch of Parkway from Stratford to Greenwich, Connecticut, connects major Universities, parks, schools and public amenities which for a largely car-dependent county results in congestion and a county with some of the worst air quality in the country.

Since this winter Connecticut DOT has travelled to six of the eight Parkway communities to present the feasibility in developing a 10’ wide paved trail within the Parkway’s 200 foot right-of-way. Attendance for these community public meetings has been between 20-50 people. Connecticut DOT is using these meetings to gauge public interest and will use public input to decide whether or not the project should move forward into the design phase. With only two meetings remaining, the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance is working hard support advocacy efforts and make the trail a reality.

The two meetings in Stratford and Greenwich are yet to be scheduled. If you are interested in showing your support, please visit DOT's Public Outreach Website for scheduling announcements and town specific feasibility studies. If you’d like to get involved with the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance please contact Jerry Silber or simply go to their web site to sign up for the mailing list so you be kept apprised of important meetings/activities. We need all the support we can get to move the project forward!

Norwalk based online news, The Hour, recently posted a survey on the proposed Merritt Parkway Trail. Make sure to show your support by voting!

EPA Awards Grant for Trail Feasibility Study for Addition to Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia

The EPA announced its award of a $40,000 Urban Waters small grant to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC). The grant will be used to study the feasibility of constructing a greenway along the Schuylkill River from 58th Street to just south of Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. This is the next step in the process of completing the Schuylkill River Trail to the Delaware River. The East Coast Greenway Alliance is excited for this wonderful opportunity, and we thank the EPA and congratulate SRDC on their award!

Schuylkill Banks Construction

Construction is almost complete on the Schuylkill Boards section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia.

NC Trails Coalition Meets with Governor's Cabinet to Accelerate Progress

Representatives from the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Carolina Thread Trail and Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail recently met with state cabinet secretaries from five departments to discuss the inter-agency importance of multi-use trails across the state of North Carolina.

Focused on economic growth and job creation, the meeting included Secretary of Commerce, Sharon Decker, Secretary of Transportation, Tony Tata, Secretary of Health & Human Services, Aldona Wos, Secretary of Cultural Resources, Susan Kluttz, and Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources, Brad Ives.

NC Cabinet meeting

New Amenities Coming Soon to Woodbine River Walk in GA

New rest rooms are being built on the Woodbine RiverWalk trail in Woodbine, GA. Bricks recycled from the Woodbine Theater will be the outside facade of both comfort stations, and the former site of the theater will become a trailhead location.

Woodbine Trailhead

Photo courtesy of Terry Landreth, Camden Bicycle Center

Florida Legislature Approves Funding for Coast to Coast Trail

The Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott have approved $15.5 million in the current budget to help complete the longest multi-use trail in Florida, the roughly 275-mile Coast-to-Coast Connector. On completion, the trail will link Titusville on the Atlantic Coast with St. Petersburg on the Gulf Coast. In Titusville, C2C, as it's known, will connect with the East Coast Greenway.

Estimates indicate that only $26.5 million will still be needed to complete C2C, which is already 75 percent complete and open to the public or funded for construction. Leaders of C2C have been Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner of Orlando, and East Coast Greenway Alliance Trustee W. Dale Allen, who has made the Coast-to-Coast the top priority of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, which he serves as president. 

c2c map

Map courtesy of Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation

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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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