September 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Inspiring Progress Continues

National News

  • Welcome Niles Barnes, Our New South-Atlantic Coordinator!
  • Tackling Our Most Hazardous Sections
  • Congratulations, Recent End-to-End ECG Riders!
  • Yonder - New Outdoor App Features ECG


  • Fall State of the Greenway Summit and Other Events, Oct. 25 - 26th, Raleigh, NC

ECG In the News

  • Great Video, Newspaper Articles, Extensive International Coverage, and More

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

  • NE Bike Walk Summit and More Oct. 4-6
  • Improvements Coming Soon to Air Line Trail in CT

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

  • New Brunswick, NJ, Ciclovia Events Oct. 4-6
  • Upcoming Events and Bike Rides
  • New PA/DE ECG Guide Now Available

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

  • Celebrating ATT Trail Progress, Oct. 12th
  • NC's 2nd Bike Summit, Oct. 18 - 20

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Welcome to Florida's New Bike/Ped Coordinator

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Inspiring Progress Continues!

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Congratulations on the wave of strong progress we're riding right now! Not only are we adding great staff like Niles who is featured below, but we are also updating our communications through a redesigned website thanks to star volunteer Todd Kurland.

I look forward to meeting friends and allies in New Jersey, New York, and New England next week as our organization hosts the third New England Bike & Walk Summit in Providence, Friday, October 4th. If I don't see you then, I hope you get a chance to join the whole team at our State of the Greenway Summit in Raleigh, NC October 25th & 26th. You are welcome to come to any or all of the events detailed below: from the Friday bike ride (over 90% greenway for 47 miles) to the evening reception (at the lovely NC Museum of Natural Sciences) and the Saturday Summit (at another lovely site, the Walnut Creek Wetland Center).

A big congratulations to the new end-to-enders, Bob and Glenn! We are glad you enjoyed the ride and appreciate your leadership in helping us continue to develop this growing national treasure. While doing the whole route is currently for experienced cyclists and walkers, we are excited that every year more and more of the ECG is safe and accessible to all.

Together, we can achieve a Healthy & Sustainable Future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Introducing Niles Barnes, Our New South Atlantic Coordinator!

We couldn't be more happy to introduce our newest staff member, Niles Barnes, who joined our team in early September as South Atlantic Coordinator! Niles is focused on the ECG route in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. His passion lies not only in developing the physical trail, but also the potential it has to create a sustainable future that includes more healthy and prosperous local communities along the entire eastern corridor.

Before joining the Alliance, Niles spent over six years working for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), where he played an important role in growing the Association from a small start-up into one of the most influential actors in the campus sustainability movement.

Niles Barnes

Originally from Raleigh, NC, Niles holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Kentucky, a certificate in business administration from the Gatton College of Business and Economics, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is currently a graduate student participating in the Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management degree program at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Outside of work, Niles enjoys biking, swimming and eating tasty homemade food. In the past he competed as an NCAA Division 1 runner; completed a 57 day self-supported bike, climbing and camping tour of the Pacific Northwest; and participated in an unplanned helicopter evacuation from Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Niles can be reached at, or 919-973-0685.

Tackling our Most Hazardous Sections

We are working hard to get the entire ECG route on greenways, separated from traffic (currently about 30% is on greenways). Until then, the remaining sections of our route are on roadways, and we try to find the safest roads we can along our route.

Unfortunately, there are some sections that are currently difficult. (See a list here of what we consider the most hazardous section in each state. Please note these are not the only sections we are working to improve!) Many of these are bridge crossings that don't currently have facilities for cyclists or pedestrians, or areas along roadways with no shoulders.

We are working to address these with the local communities, and will keep you apprised as situations improve. In the meantime, use extra caution when travelling around these areas, or detour if you feel you can't bike or walk them safely. And please let our trail staff know if you have questions or if we can assist you with navigating the ECG route.

rt 1

Rt. 1 in Northern Virginia: this 4-lane roadway with no shoulders has heavy traffic at rush hour. It is under study to add sidewalks and shared-use path.

Congratulations to Recent ECG End-to-End Riders!

In the past few months, two people have completed bicycle tours of the ECG! Kudos and congratulations to Bob and Glenn!

Dr. Glenn Hirsch of Georgia biked the ECG a section at a time from south to north. He started on November 7, 2009 in Key West and finished on August 12, 2013 in Calais, ME. Glenn rode to raise awareness and funds for I Care I Cure Childhood Cancer Foundation, in memory of his nephew, Ian, who lost his battle with leukemia at age eleven.

His wife, Lynn, also went the whole way providing SAG support and did a blog about Glenn's tour and their other activities to support the childhood cancer foundation.

A number of family members joined Glenn for the last day of his ride, which was also his and Lynn's 40th wedding anniversary (double congratulations)! Read their sweet blog entry about the end of the ride and see photos here.

Bob Spiegelman of New Hampshire biked the entire ECG between August 2011 and August 2013 (and he rode a couple sections more than once!). He rode with our Week a Year Tour each summer since 2011, covering the sections from the Canadian border to Philadelphia, PA, and in 2012 Bob rode with the Cabot tour from Miami to Portland, ME.

Earlier this year Bob made a trip south to ride the Florida Keys section, and a short stretch in North Carolina that the Cabot tour had to miss due to a tropical storm. Bob raised funds for the ECG during the Cabot and Week a Year tours, raising over $10,000 in the past two years!

Congratulations Glenn, Lynn, and Bob! We are so glad to have you as End-to-Enders!


Glenn Hirsch

Glenn Hirsch

Bob Spiegelman

Bob Spiegelman

Check Out a New Outdoor App that Features the ECG

The ECGA is partnering with Green Mountain Digital on an exciting new app that includes information about the ECG! Check out Yonder - a new app for iPhone that inspires and enables a love for the outdoors! Share all your photos and videos of every outdoor adventure from biking to hiking to rock climbing and more. Discover new places to explore and learn more about the East Coast Greenway trails! Download the app for free today!

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ECG Spotlight - ECG Summit in Raleigh Oct. 25th and 26th
Join Us in Raleigh for the State of the Greenway Summit and Events!

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.

To kick off the Summit weekend, we're hosting a bike ride at noon on Friday, October 25 to kick off the Summit. The ride will be 47 miles from downtown Durham to Raleigh on the ECG. The ride will be followed by a reception at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Downtown Raleigh. (Read more about all these great events here!)

Our State of the Greenway weekend is generously sponsored by REI, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Performance Bicycle, and Sun Bicycles.

Cross Triangle Bike Ride, Friday, October 25th, Noon

Join us for a 47-mile bike ride from Durham to Raleigh on the East Coast Greenway. Thanks to great recent greenway progress, over 90% of the ride will be off-road! Two rest stops will be provided plus a reception at the end. An 18-mile option, starting at Godbold Park in Cary, is also available. Detailed ride description, including map, is available here.

Cost: Free for current ECGA members. Non-members can join at a special $20 rate for the event. There will be a shuttle available from Raleigh to Durham before the ride start, and after the ride ends ($10/person). You can register for the ride here -

Bike Ride on ECG in Durham

Photo by Jerry Markatos Photography

Greenway Reception, Friday, October 25th, 5:45 - 8 PM, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, (in the Nature Research Center) 121 West Jones, St. Raleigh, NC

Join us to celebrate recent greenway progress in the Triangle! We'll enjoy appetizers and drinks, and hear brief remarks from ECG, state, and community leaders. (Read more about the reception here.)

Free to cross-triangle bike ride participants and ECGA members. Non-members are encouraged to join the ECGA at a special rate. Register here, or you can join at the event! RSVP to

State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council Meeting, Saturday, October 26th, 9 AM - 5 PM, Walnut Creek Wetland Center 950 Peterson St., Raleigh, NC

In the morning, we'll hear from local leaders before updates on ECG progress in each region. During lunch we'll enjoy a walk on the ECG outside the wetland center. The ECG Members' meeting and Trail Council meetings will take place after lunch. See the draft agenda here (exact times subject to change).

Please RSVP to if you wish to attend, and if you'd like to purchase a boxed lunch ($10).

Vote for ECGA Trustees

During the Members' meeting, current ECGA members will vote on Trustees. Several current Trustees are up for re-election. If you can't attend the meeting but want to vote, you can vote by proxy by mailing or emailing your ballot. Read more about the Trustees up for re-election and download a ballot here. Send to or mail to us at ECGA, 5315 Highgate Dr. Suite 105, Durham, NC 27713 by October 25th.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

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ECG In the News

Check out this beautiful video made by one of the Week a Year Tour Riders about the tour!

ECGA Board of Trustees member Steve Mitchell gave a great TEDx Talk about the ECG

TV News: ABC 6, Providence: Bike Providence Will Make Cycling Easier (Features our own Eric Weis)

National Geographic Online: Portland ME is a great long-weekend getaway!

Charleston Post & Courier: Dream Big for Local Bikeways

Guilford Patch: Shoreline Greenway Trail Will Connect to ECG

Great international news coverage:

Including China, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, India, Singapore, and New Zealand!

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Regional News: New England
Come to the New England Bike Walk Summit, Builders' Ball, and Gran Fondo, Oct. 4 - 6

The New England Bike-Walk Summit returns to Providence, RI, on Friday, Oct. 4, from 9 am to 5 pm, for a full day of information, education, and networking (click here to download the current draft agenda and here to register for the conference).

That evening, ECGA is the fundraising beneficiary of the New England Builders' Ball, a handbuilt bicycle show highlighting framebuilders from the northeast.

That Sunday will see the first-ever Gran Fondo New England, and ECGA is the official charity for that event too. Of course, all of these great events are tied together with the Providence Cyclocross Festival: three days of world-class bike racing, with a huge expo, bike swap, a beer garden, and great food. So make a long weekend of it in Providence, Oct 4-6!

NE Gran Fondo Pvd Cyclocross Fest

New England Bike Walk Summit

New England Builders Ball

Improvements Coming Soon to Air Line Trail in CT

The State of Connecticut continues to "Close the Gaps" in the ECG by resurfacing 25 miles of the Air Line Trail State Park. This represents the single largest investment in the Air Line Trail since the State acquired the former railroad corridor. The CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, will begin the maintenance project in late September 2013.

This project is unique in that the Federal/State governments funded the purchase of materials only, and DEEP State Parks Division is providing the labor to install all the materials. The 25 mile resurfacing project, while not continuous, extends from the MA/CT State Line in Thompson, CT and extends to Route 203 in Windham, CT. Some short sections that required more intensive design/permitting are being incorporated into a proposed phase II in 2014. The improvements will include grading, 12' to 14' wide stone dust resurfacing, fencing, benches, small bridges and cleaning/maintenance of drainage structures.

Air Line Trail

25 miles of the Air Line Trail State Park in CT soon will be resurfaced!

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
New Brunswick Ciclovia Events, Oct. 4-6. Bike With Us!

We are really excited about New Brunswick's first Ciclovia and are proud to be one of the sponsoring organizations! At this fun, free event, 3.4 miles of streets will be closed to traffic and turned over to walkers, bicyclists, skaters and others. A route from Buccleuch Park off College Avenue to the youth sports center on Joyce Kilmer Avenue will be closed from 10 am to 3 pm. You can learn more about Ciclovia here:

Thank you to the leaders of this event, including the City of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Tomorrow, NJ Bike and Walk Coalition, and Johnson & Johnson!

Want to bike there on the ECG?

We are leading a ride from the Metropark station (100 Middlesex Turnpike, Iselin NJ) just after 9 a.m. (we will wait if the southbound train from Newark is delayed). From the train station we will follow the Greenway route, primarily using roads, at a leisurely pace of 10 mph for about 13 miles to New Brunswick. We will also stop at 9:30 a.m. at the back of Tano Mall at the base of the Middlesex Greenway bridge going over Route 1 at Pierson Avenue in Edison to pick up additional riders.

We will return from New Brunswick after the Ciclovia ends at 3 p.m., although you are free to make your own way back by bike or with New Jersey Transit. Ride cost is $5. Register for the ride here!

This ride is on roadways, some of them traffic-heavy. You must wear a helmet to participate. Not recommended for new riders or small children. Youth must be accompanied by an adult and be familiar with riding on road and in traffic. Please email if you have questions about the ride. We hope you can make it!

Friday Conference at Rutgers on Cycling and Walking

To kick off the Ciclovia weekend, Gil Penalosa and John Pucher will be giving talks on Friday afternoon, Oct. 4, from 3pm to 5:30pm at Rutgers University's Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy on the topic of "Cycling and Walking for Sustainable, Healthy, and Socially Just Cities." (Read more about the talks here. Get directions to the event here.) Admission is free, and there will also be a free reception after the event sponsored by the NJ Bike Walk Coalition. The first 100 registrants for the conference will receive a free, autographed copy of the "City Cycling" book published by MIT Press. Register for the talks at:

New Pennsylvania/Delaware Guides Now Available!

PA/DE Guide

Our newly-updated guide to Pennsylvania and Delaware is just out! This beautiful guide features maps, turn-by-turn directions, and other useful information about our route in these states in an easy-to-read spiral bound booklet.

You can download the guide for free or purchase it via our website here ($5 for shipping), or pick one up for free in Wilmington, DE at the Downtown Visitor Information Center (100 West 10th Street, Suite 20), in Philadelphia, PA at Lloyd Hall (1 Boathouse Road), and they will be available soon at local area bike shops.

Thank you to the William Penn Foundation for providing support for this guide, and other ECG projects in the Pennsylvania/Delaware area!

Upcoming Bike Rides in the Mid-Atlantic

Sunday, Oct. 13: 6th Annual Hudson Loop Bike Ride, sponsored by the New York and New Jersey ECG Committees. This exciting 25-mile loop ride will include the George Washington Bridge and a ferry ride to cross the Hudson River to explore the waterfront trails of Manhattan and the New Jersey side of the Hudson. Free, must be ECGA member. Read more and register for the ride (and you can join at a special event rate if not yet a member) here: 

Hudson Loop Ride 2012

2012 Hudson Loop Ride.

Saturday, Oct. 19th: Save the date for a ride from Philadelphia to Bristol and back on both the PA and NJ sides of the Delaware River. (Times and ride costs TBA.) We will showcase trail development -- just completed and coming soon -- along the Delaware River north of Center City Philadelphia, arriving at Historic Bristol Bay then returning on the New Jersey side along the Delaware River Heritage Trail and the Camden Greenway. Contact Andy Hamilton @ to reserve your spot on this day long ride.

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Celebrating ATT Trail Progress, Oct. 12th, Durham, NC

UPDATED 10/8/13: Join us in celebrating progress on this great new section of the ECG on Saturday, October 12th at the Streets of Southpoint (behind the cinemas) from 9 to 11 AM. Due to issues with the pedestrian safety fencing of the new bridge, it will not be open, but is anticipated to be complete in December. Over 4 miles of new trail are now complete and open to public use.

Speakers will include the Durham Mayor Bill Bell, US Representative David Price, NC Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, and the ECGA's Dennis Markatos-Soriano. Look for us at the ECGA tent!

Watch an interview with ECGA's Advisory Board Chair Chuck Flink and the City's Project Manager about the project.

Over the next few months, we will have other events celebrating the ATT, so stay tuned!

ATT Bridge over I-40

The ATT bridge structure being placed over I-40, April 2013. Photo by Jerry Markatos Photography.

North Carolina Bike Summit, Oct. 18-20

The North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance is hosting the 2nd annual NC Bicycle Summit Oct. 18-20 in Carrboro, NC. The summit brings together planners, nonprofit leaders, business owners, elected officials and advocates from across North Carolina to foster collaboration and help North Carolina become a premier bicycling friendly state.

The ECGA is proud to be a sponsor organization again this year for the summit. Our Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano will be speaking as part of a keynote panel on Friday, Oct. 18th on the economic benefits of cycling along with representatives from Adventure Cycling, Bike MS, and Performance Bike. As we witness the Triangle region of NC approaching over 90% completion for our ECG route, we are also seeing the increased economic and health impacts of this great greenway progress.

Register for the event here. We look forward to seeing many allies at the summit!

"Battle or Paddle" to Benefit the Lower Appomattox River, Saturday

Come out and paddle for a great cause this weekend in Virginia! The Friends of the Lower Appomattox River are holding their 6th Annual "Battle or Paddle" to support their work developing this blueway-greenway (which is designated as part of the ECG)! Read more about the event and how to register here.

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Regional News: Southeast
Florida DOT names DeWayne Carver as Statewide Bike/Ped Coordinator

The Florida state Department of Transportation has appointed DeWayne Carver as its Statewide Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator. The ECGA looks forward to working with him as we move to develop a uniform system for signing trails throughout the state.

Carver and Southeast Region Coordinator Herb Hiller are working toward a meeting of statewide trail interests so that one advocate voice can work with one government voice to accomplish the policy. The moves follow on collaboration begun in 2012 between FDOT District 1 Secretary Billy Hattaway, who is FDOT’s point person for state trails, and ECGA.

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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.

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