August 2012

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Will the Next Olympian Start on a Greenway?

National News

  • Ride with the 2012 Week a Year Tour
  • ECG Trail Council Meeting Nov. 17th in Richmond
  • Stay Informed and Show Your Support for Trails

Spotlight

  • Rides and Walks for a Cause on the ECG

ECGA In the News

  • Great Articles in Newspapers and More

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

  • Upcoming Bike Events Support the ECGA
  • More Trail North of Boston
  • Eighty Miles of ECG Signed in CT

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

  • Susquehanna Crossing by Bus
  • NY State Senator Speaks at ECG Bike Ride

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

  • Construction Underway on ATT in Durham
  • NC Bike Summit Oct. 12-13

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • ECGA Co-sponsoring Authentic and Sustainable FL Conference
  • Landscape Architects Tour ECG Alt. Route in FL




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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Staff
Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Andy Hamilton: Mid Atlantic Coordinator

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Debbie West: Office Manager / Communications

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Thank you to our major sponsors:

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tom's of Maine

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Will the Next Olympian Start on a Greenway?

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Every four years, we get inspired by stories of perseverance, records broken, and the spirit of global camaraderie throughout the Olympic Games. A few thousand people represent billions of us as they aim for medals and their spot in history.

Their athletic feats wouldn't have been possible without determination, skill, and a place for training. The East Coast Greenway is one of those perfect places for athletes to train, from 2 to 102. Not only can we reduce obesity and other harmful side effects of physical inactivity, but we can also help foster the next Michael Phelps (who hails from the ECG metro area of Baltimore – perhaps he cross-trained on our route?).

Every future Olympian needs a safe, accessible place to develop their abilities. It's my hope that ECG progress will help prospective medalists and all of us strive toward our life dreams in the years ahead!

Together, we are building a sustainable & healthy America,

 

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Ride with the 2012 Week a Year Tour, Sat. 8/25

Last Sunday, 37 riders headed out from Portland, Maine on their way to Hartford, Connecticut. So far they've had great weather and a beautiful ride! Day riders are welcome to join them this Saturday, 8/25 from Putnam to Hartford (60 miles). FREE for ECG members, no pre-registration. You must sign a waiver form at the start of the ride, and helmets are required. (Not a member yet? You can easily join on our website!)

WAY tour takes off in ME

The Week a Year tour kicks off in Portland, Maine. Photo by Truda Bloom.

Meet at DOT lot on US Route 44 in Putnam between Kennedy Drive and Canal Street, 9 AM. 60 miles, one way. Riders will need to have their own transportation to and/or from the ride. The tour will end with a reception in downtown Hartford.

For a shorter ride to the ending celebration, the group will gather at approx. 4:00 PM to ride as a large group into Hartford, expected arrival 4:15. Meet at the DOT commuter parking lot in East Hartford off Main Street (exit 90 Rte 15). Can’t make the ride? You are welcome to greet us at our final destination in Hartford’s Bushnell Park – our estimated arrival will be 4:15.

Save the Date: Fall Trail Council Meeting, Nov. 17 in Richmond, VA

You are invited to join us in Richmond, Virginia for our next Trail Council meeting! Please note the new date of November 17th for the meeting. On Friday November 16th, there will be a walk along the ECG in Richmond in the late afternoon with a reception to follow - stay tuned for more information! The Trail Council meeting will be 9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday November 17th.

We have a discounted rate available Friday and Saturday nights at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Richmond, 201 East Cary Street, 804-788-1600. Let them know you're coming to the East Coast Greenway meeting for the special rate.

Stay Informed and Show Your Support for Trails

We know how vital trails and bike/ped projects are to our communities, our health, and our local economies. MAP-21, the transportation bill that recently passed in Congress cut funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure by about a third. To prevent even further cuts, we need to ensure that state governors do not opt out of receiving funds for trail projects.

Under the new bill, state governors can opt out of receiving funds for trail projects by September 1st. The non-profit advocates Bikes Belong has made it easy to speak up for trails - please take a moment to send a message to your Governor using this easy form. The deadline is September 1, so please respond today!

Want to learn more about the transportation bill, and help maintain support for bicycle and pedestrian projects? The League of American Bicyclists and Alliance for Biking and Walking created Advocacy Advance - a dynamic online resource for information and advocacy. Read more about MAP-21 and what you can do about it!

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ECG Spotlight - Fundraising Tours on the ECG

Biking and Walking for a Cause on the ECG

We've recently told you about ECG walks and rides that are fundraisers for our project. Many other causes also benefit from walks and bike tours along the East Coast Greenway. Here are a few of the groups or individuals who are soon to be riding or walking the ECG for their charitable causes. We are very inspired by their dedication and courage, and we wish everyone luck, success, a great time on their tours!

iamONE, Starting August 31 in Boston, MA

Starting from Boston, MA, a 25-year old from London, England will cycle to Miami, Florida to raise awareness about Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a crippling degenerative auto-immune arthritic disease. Tariq Gangari was diagnosed with the disease in 2009. "Chronic back conditions might stop some people in their tracks but for others, it makes them more determined to chase their dreams and help others along the way."

Tariq Gangari
AS is an incurable disease which affects 1 in 1000 people in the UK. Tariq says “A life with AS is all about “using it or losing it” because unlike many other arthritic diseases the symptoms of AS come on much stronger without physical activity.” Read more on Tariq's website at www.iamONE.org.uk, and follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Hike for Heroes, Starting Sept. 8th in Calais, ME

Two hikers will walk the ECG from Calais, Maine to West Palm Beach, Florida to raise awareness and funds to support military families in need. Twenty-five year old Kristen Creech is walking because she has had a lot of friends in the military and has seen the effects of loss on military families. Mike Mosebach is a 31-year old veteran of the US Army, who served more than four years as an Airborne Medic. He served for a year in Northern Iraq. "With the memory of my brothers during the war, comes the thought of the families they left behind... Who can help these military families? Who helps their children? Well, now I have an answer… We do.”

Read more about their walk here and find out about Active Heroes here, a non-profit organization that provides support to military personnel and their families. You can also follow them on Facebook, where they'll be posting about their journey.

I Care I Cure I Cycle, Spring 2012, Continuing in 2013

This Spring, Dr. Glenn Hirsch biked from Virginia to New Jersey on the ECG to raise awareness and funds for I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation. Glenn rides in memory of his nephew, Ian, who lost his battle with leukemia at age eleven. I Care I Cure supports finding gentler treatments for childhood cancer.

Glenn is biking the ECG in segments, and plans to ride the remaining segment of the ECG from New Jersey to Maine next summer. (He started his journey in Key West, Florida in 2009.) His wife, Lynn, provides SAG support and does a blog about the tour - you can follow the Hirsch's blog here.

Read an article in the East Cobb Patch about Glenn.

Glenn Hirsch
To everyone who utilizes the ECG for charitable causes, we wish you the best and hope you enjoy your experience on our route!
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ECGA In the News

Sentinel, NJ: Middlesex Greenway in NJ Not So Secret Destination Location

Herald Sun, Durham, NC: Thinking Hard about Bicycling and Walking

NECN.com: Hartford Commuters Encouraged to Bike to Work

Newburyport News, MA: Coastal Trails Coalition Slow Bike Race a Success

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Regional News: New England
New England Bike Events to Raise Funds for the ECG

Save the dates and head to Providence, RI for October 5-7!

Friday, October 5 sees the return of the New England Builders Ball, an expo of handbuilt bikes highlighting New England builders. Admission is just $3 to see some of the world's best steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon custom fabrication, up close and personal, with the builders there to answer your questions. Live music and cash bar. All proceeds above costs will go to the ECGA.

October 6 and 7 see the return of the Providence Cyclocross Festival. World-class 'cross racing (UCI cat.1 with racers from Europe, Australia, and across the US) is on tap, along with a huge bike swap, kids activities, and more. Gourmet food trucks too, raising funds for the ECGA!

More Trail North of Boston!

The City of Saugus, MA, has begun work on its section of the Northern Strand Community Trail. Tracks and ties are up and surface improvements are on the horizon. We look forward to bringing this 2.4-mi section into the ECG soon. When complete through Everett, Malden, Revere, Saugus, and Lynn, the NSCT will be about 10 miles long. Read more about the Saugus trail here.

Eighty Miles of ECG Signed in CT

The ECG is almost fully marked from the RI/CT border to Hartford, over 80 miles! A huge thank you to Governor Malloy, Connecticut DOT, and each town along the route for their leadership and partnership. There will be a sign unveiling ceremony in Killingly, CT today at 3 PM at the Danielson Footbridge celebrating the marking of the ECG through the Town.

Thank you to our generous sponsors REI, Tom's of Maine, and the Helen and William Mazer Foundation for supporting our signage effort in Connecticut and beyond.

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Bus Service Provides Weekday Susquehanna Crossing, MD

Crossing the Susquehanna River in Maryland has always been difficult by bike or on foot. Now there is bus service on Mondays through Fridays! Harford County Transit Route 7 Teal goes from Perryville to Havre de Grace. See their website for schedules and details. We are working with local governments and other organizations to find a solution for those who wish to cross the bridge on weekends.

With the advent of the bus service, Billers Bikes of Havre de Grace, MD has discontinued its bicycle ferrying service, which they provided for over six years. Many thanks to Billers for their years of service to the ECG!

State Senator Liz Krueger Speaks at ECG Bike Ride

Our Second Annual Circle Manhattan by Bike Ride (August 12, 2012) was a great success, with almost 50 riders eager to ride the not-quite-finished Greenway encircling all but 3 of the 32 miles around Manhattan.

manhattan loop ride

Manhattan’s east side State Senator, Liz Krueger, gave a short talk before the ride, laying out the plan to close the trail gap that runs between 38th and 60th streets near the United Nations.

Huge thanks to Anthony Savarese and Scott Baker, the two leaders and organizers of the ride, and the ECG New York State Committee! If you missed this one, there are two more great events in the NYC area planned for this fall:

  • Sun, September 16, 9 AM: Hudson River Greenway (43rd St.) to City Island ride, 25 miles.
  • Sun, Oct. 7, 9 AM: 5th Annual Hudson River Loop Ride, 25 miles.

These events are FREE for East Coast Greenway Alliance members. Click here for more information and to register.

NY State Senator Liz Krueger speaks before the ride. Photos by Ed Majtenyi.

Liz Kreuger

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Key Trail Section Under Construction in Durham, NC

Construction is underway on the American Tobacco Trail (ATT), a key ECG section in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Anticipated for many years, this project will close a key gap in the 22-mile ATT by constructing a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-40 (right near ECGA headquarters!). As part of the project, improvements are being made to widen and pave the trail on either side of the bridge. The entire project is scheduled to be completed next summer. (You can see construction updates from the City of Durham here.)

The normally heavily-used section of the ATT between Massey Chapel Road south to the Chatham County line is closed until next Spring. Due to the presence of heavy equipment, users are asked to stay off this section of trail until the work is completed.

ATT construction

Construction on the ATT at Scott King Road in Durham, NC

Until construction is complete, cyclists wishing to ride the ECG in this area should take Highway 751 to O'Kelley Chapel, which crosses the ATT - see map below. (Please use caution - Highway 751 is a heavily-travelled road without shoulders or a bike lanes for most of its length.) If you have questions about this detour, please contact us at info@greenway.org or 919-797-0619.

Att map

First North Carolina Bike Summit - October 12 - 13

The state's first bicycle summit will bring together planners, advocates, businesses, and government leaders from across the state. There will be many interesting speakers and workshops with topics ranging from education and public outreach, health and recreation, on-road and off-road facility design and engineering, economic development and creative funding sources.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano will speak on a panel discussion about Greenway Development in North Carolina, and look for the ECGA on the bike ride to explore Raleigh greenways!

The Summit will be held at the McKimmon Center on NC State University, 1101 Gorman Street, in Raleigh on Friday, Oct. 12 from 9am - 5pm and Saturday, Oct. 13 from 9am to 12pm. See here for more information.

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Regional News: Southeast
ECG Co-sponsoring Sustainable and Authentic FL Conference in Oct.

Join us October 17-19 for the Sustainable & Authentic Florida Conference, which will take place on Anna Maria Island. See here for details and to register.

Florida conference

Landscape Architects Tour ECG Alt. Route in Florida

ECGA Florida activist and landscape architect Steve Davis recently organized a tour of a beautiful segment of the ECG's alternate route which spans through five counties of west-central Florida. This tour was tied to the annual convention of the Florida Association of Landscape Architects.

Those who took part included St. Johns County Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson, Putnam County Commissioner Chip Laibl, Hastings Library Archivist Susanne Vieson, Old Florida Antique Museum Manager Ernie Bonham, Armstrong Community Representative Malinda Peeples and St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Director Wil Smith.

The SR 207 trail is part of the almost 300-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop and of a more than 100-mile trail that links St. Augustine with Lake City through Palatka, the seat of Putnam County known as the Hub of Florida trails. Trails through the county include the Florida National Scenic Trail, a system of blueways, and the aforementioned multi-use trails under construction.

Tour visits included Palatka’s new riverfront park and Hastings’ Old Florida Antique Museum. Wil Smith presented plans for a rail-with-trail connection between the current east end of the rail-trail and downtown St. Augustine.

Said one tour participant of the Armstrong visit, “I thought I would learn some nuts and bolts of trail building but (instead) was pleasantly surprised to learn how trails change people’s lives for the better.”

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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 sponsoring a mile of trail today.

Get Involved! Volunteer, write a letter, help spread the word...learn about all the ways you can help create the ECG.

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.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Copyright 2012 East Coast Greenway Alliance