November 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Renewing Our Commitment

National News

  • Welcome Molly Henry, New England Coordinator!
  • Brand New Office Location in Providence, RI
  • Facebook Photo Contest Showcases the ECG
  • ECG Cities and States Show Increase in Biking

Spotlight

  • Help Us Keep the ECG Rolling Strong in 2014

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles and More

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

  • Eastern Trail Alliance to Release Preliminary Design
  • Bike Walk CT Celebrates Success

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

  • New Jersey ECG Guide Now Available
  • Key Trail Openings in PA
  • Bike Ride Explores New Trail Along Delaware River

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

  • Congratulations, South Atlantic Raffle Winners!
  • Upcoming Events in the Region

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • 1.9 Million People Visit FL Keys Trail in 2013
  • Governor of FL Celebrates New ECG Groundbreaking
  • ECG Benefits Development in Rural Armstrong, FL




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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Renewing Our Commitment

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

I’m very thankful for the progress we've made together recently. We now have a strong trail staff that can properly engage our entire Seaboard (meet our New England Coordinator below). And our project is helping foster tremendous growth in cycling and walking.

I was proud to see all the ECG communities showing leadership in a recent compilation of Census data by the League of American Bicyclists. (See article below for more details.) Philadelphia is now the top bike commuting city in America with over a million people after cycling commutes grew 300% since 1990! Other ECG cities were among the top growth cities in that time frame, including Washington, DC (445%!); Baltimore, MD (321%); New York City, NY (220%); Boston, MA (128%); and Raleigh, NC (also 128%).

And yet cycling still makes up less than 9% of commutes throughout our great ECG communities. To meet the health, environment, and economic challenges we face -- now is the time for us to renew our committment and accelerate progress even more.

Super Typhoon Haiyan is a grim reminder of the urgency of our work, as such record-breaking storms become too common in our warming world. The devastation hit hard in my house, as my wife's family is from the Philippines. Our Eastern Seaboard too shares a common destiny on the front lines of climate change, as we saw with Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey just last year.

Amidst all this, our growing impact and capacity give me hope. Let's keep up our momentum for our neighbors and loved ones near and far. Please consider donating today.

Together, we can achieve a Healthy & Sustainable Future,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Meet Our New Trail Coordinator in New England, Molly Henry!

We are thrilled to introduce another new staff person - welcome, Molly Henry, who started earlier this month as New England Trail Coordinator!

Molly is a lifelong cyclist and hiker with a passion for active transportation planning. She is an outdoor adventure leader and an active volunteer in her community. She recently relocated from Philadelphia to her new home in Providence, RI, where she works in our New England regional office with Trail Program Coordinator Eric Weis.

Molly holds a BS from Rutgers University in environmental planning and design with a certificate in urban planning. Since graduation, she has worked on sustainable development projects at the neighborhood and county levels and is committed to bringing the ECG to underserved populations. Indoors, Molly enjoys drawing, reading, playing the violin and spending time with family and friends. Welcome, Molly! You can reach her at molly@greenway.org.

We have worked for several years to get to the financial position to hire South Atlantic and New England Coordinators. Adding these trail staff greatly increases our capacity to advocate for new trail and expand our program in all our regions. Thank you to everyone who's supported us as a member, donor, or sponsor - you have helped make this happen!

Molly Henry

Molly Henry, New England Coordinator

Thank you to the generous donors who made significant additional donations to support this important regional hire: James and Deborah Sharpe, Al Nierenberg, Robert Spiegelman, David Read, and Anne Maleady.

New ECG Office Location in Providence

ECGA's New England office has made a monumental move... down one flight of stairs. The addition of Molly Henry as New England Coordinator (joining our overall Trail Program Coordinator, Eric Weis, in Providence) coincided with the move to a new space, triple the size of the old. We now can host meetings in our Providence office, and thanks to the huge windows, grow cooking herbs all winter long. 

Come by any time to meet Molly and see Eric's collection of antique and vintage bikes! We're having an open house on January 16, starting at 5 PM. Our street address is the same, but suite number has changed: 76 Dorrance Street, Suite 301, Providence, RI, 02903.

ECGA Office in PVD

ECGA's new office location in Providence, RI.

vintage bikes

Eric's mid-1960s Katakura Porta-Silk folder (top) and early 1960s Staiger Record with a breakaway frame.

Congratulations, Facebook Photo Contest Winner, Terry Landreth!

In October we held a photo contest on our Facebook page, and people submitted great photos of the ECG. The winner of an ECG jersey was Terry Landreth, of the Camden Bicycle Center in St. Marys, GA. He submitted the photo below of adorable children on the ECG at the St. Marys Waterfront. Congratulations, Terry, and thank you to everyone who entered the contest! All the photos are beautiful and show a unique look at the ECG. You can see all the entries here.

Photo contest winner

Facebook contest winning photo by Terry Landreth, St. Marys, GA.

ECG Cities and States Show Increase in Biking

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual American Community Survey data, and our friends at the League of American Bicyclists have pored over the data to give us all a clearer picture of American cycling habits via their report, "Where We Ride". Breaking it down further, here's where ECG cities and states stand in a number of categories:

The top state in terms of growth in commuting is Maryland, which grew by 113% since 2005. Massachussets is the 3rd ranked state in growth, at 104%.

Cities with the highest numbers of cyclists: NYC (1st), Philadelphia (7th), Washington DC (8th), Boston (15th).

Among the 70 largest American cities, highest percent of bike commuters: Washington DC is 3rd highest ranked (at 4.1%), Philadelphia is 11th (2.3%), Boston is 13th (2.0%), and Baltimore is 26th, Raleigh is 27th, Miami is 28th, and NYC is 30th, all with about 1% of commuters choosing their bikes.

Smaller ECG cities that rank include Cambridge, MA (8.5%!), Miami Beach, FL (5.1%), New Haven, CT (3.8%), Somerville, MA (3.7%), Charleston, SC (2.9%), and Richmond, VA (2.6%).

Where is bike commuting growing the fastest among ECG cities? Between 1990 and 2012, Washington DC's bike modeshare grew by 445%, Baltimore's grew by 321%, Philadelphia's grew grew over 300%, NYC's grew 220%, Boston's and Raleigh's grew by 128%, and Miami's grew by 64%. Of cities with over 1 million people, Philadelphia has the highest percentage of bike commuters nationwide, with NYC placing 5th.

It's rewarding to see East Coast communities making such great progress! In a few years, we hope our cities will be seen as leaders alongside Davis and Portland. Much more data can be found in the League report.

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ECG Spotlight
Help Us Keep the ECG Rolling Strong in 2014

2013 has been a fantastic year for the ECG! We held some of the most successful events in our history (including the Week a Year Tour and New England Bike Walk Summit), added key trail staff in New England and the South Atlantic, and grew our network of supporters beyond 20,000 people.

Meeting w/ Mayor
ECG staff and volunteers met with the Mayor of Stamford, CT during the 2013 Week a Year Tour.

This year we beat our new greenway designations goal by over 20% with more than 60 miles integrated into the East Coast Greenway! ECG signs now mark 25% of our route, making it easier to navigate. And we will roll out the new ECG app for mobile devices this winter! All of this helps us make progress for safe biking and walking throughout the Eastern Seaboard, and it is thanks to our many members, donors, volunteers, and supporters who have kept the greenway momentum rolling!

Hudson Loop Ride
On the recent Hudson Loop bike ride led by NY and NJ ECG volunteers.
Photo by Mike Dannemiller.

A safe and accessible East Coast Greenway is needed now more than ever. We have much work ahead to reverse the health crisis due to inactivity, and too many people suffer serious injury or worse while walking and biking. Unusually strong storms from the US to the Philippines raise the urgency for our efforts to address climate change through sustainable transportation access for all. And Eastern states need the ECG to help bolster their economies by attracting top employers, employees, and the world’s tourists.

Now is the time to invest in the East Coast Greenway. In 2014, we plan to track and broadcast trail use more closely (around 10 million visits per year!), sign another record number of ECG miles, and designate 50 more miles of new greenway to bring us past 30% completion!

Will you help us keep rolling with a tax-deductible, end-of-year contribution? If you haven't yet donated to the ECGA, we urge you to consider supporting our work. A donation of any amount makes you a member for a year, and you will be directly helping us develop more trail on the Eastern Seaboard. Please donate today if you can! A generous donor will match your tax-deductible contributions made by December 31 up to $25,000.

Donate Now

If you are participating in Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3rd, please keep us in mind!

Help our awesome staff make it happen!

ECG Trail Staff
ECGA Trail Staff: Molly Henry (New England), Andy Hamilton (Mid-Atlantic), Herb Hiller (Southeast), Dennis Markatos-Soriano (Director), Eric Weis (Trail Program Coordinator), Niles Barnes (South Atlantic). Photo by David Read.

Thank you for your support, and see you on the ECG!

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ECG In the News

Sun Sentinel: FL Planning Route for Long-Distance Bicycle Travel

St. Augustine.com, FL: Armstrong Hopes Cycling Can Make a Difference in Economy

Doylestown-Buckingham-New Britain Patch, PA: Rt. 13 Passageway Creates Critical Link for Area Trails

Levittown Patch, PA: Group Hopes to Add Bike Paths Through Bensalem

Philly.com: 13 New Trails Approved for Regional Greenway

Plan Philly.com: Completed Port Richmond Trail Returns the River to its Neighbors

The Courant, Manchester, CT: Garden Clubs Beautify Greenway

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Regional News: New England
Eastern Trail Alliance to Release Preliminary Trail Design for New Section

On November 4th, the Town of Scarborough, Maine hosted a presentation for the preliminary design of the Eastern Trail's much anticipated section between Scarborough’s Nonesuch River and Wainwright Fields in South Portland. This 1.6-mile section is an essential trail connector. When complete, the Eastern Trail will extend 65 miles from South Portland to Kittery. Today, nearly 15 miles of trail is complete, beautiful, and very popular!

To watch the presentation, click here. A final version of the preliminary design plans should be completed by the start of 2014. To check back in on the trail's progress or learn more about the Eastern Trail Alliance, visit their website at http://easterntrail.org/.

Eastern Trail Alliance

Bike Walk Connecticut Celebrates Success in Active Transportation at Annual Dinner

On the first cold evening of the fall season, hundreds of bicycle and pedestrian advocates across Connecticut (including ECG New England staff) gathered to celebrate, share, and support the state’s progress in bicycle and pedestrian facilities. A highlight of the Nov. 12th event included guest speaker Kip Bergstrom, Deputy Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. Mr. Bergstrom stressed the important role active transportation plays in creating a sustainable and healthy economy. It was a fun night for all and a great success for the night’s host, Bike Walk Connecticut, one of our key allies in the state. (See pics. and read about the event.)


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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
New Jersey ECG Guide Now Available!

NJ Guide

The updated New Jersey guidebook is out! This handy booklet can guide you from Manhattan (via ferry or the George Washington Bridge) to Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton, and all the way to Camden. The extension from Trenton to Camden is new to the East Coast Greenway. There are now two ECG trail loops: the Hudson River loop, which connects New Jersey and New York, and the Delaware River loop connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

You can find the free guides at most REI and EMS stores in NJ, and they will be at other locations soon, as well as at ECG events. You can also download the guide for free, or order a hardcopy online - the cost is $5 for shipping.

The ECG New Jersey guide was first created in 2009 through a grant from the State of New Jersey. After successful distribution of the first edition and new trail developments, the State awarded us an additional grant to update the guide. The extensive process of mapping changes to the route and updating the cartography involved staff and volunteers checking the route to make sure changes were documented, and then working with cartographer Steve Spindler to create the new maps. Thank you to the State of New Jersey and to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for their generous support of our work throughout the state.

Key Trail Openings in Pennsylvania

This past month we had several key ribbon cuttings in the Mid-Atlantic! And in 2014 there will be more groundbreakings in the corridor between Philadelphia and Trenton - we will keep you posted. These are exciting times in the mid-Atlantic thanks to our wonderful partners! Thank you especially to the William Penn Foundation for your support of trail development in Pennsylvania and throughout the Delaware River watershed.

Port Richmond Trail Connects the City to the River in Philadelphia

Philadelphia cut the ribbon on the Port Richmond Trail, which is part of the ECG along the North Delaware River Greenway. Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter, State Senator Michael Stack, State Representative John Taylor, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin, and local government officials attended the ribbon cutting.

The 1.6-mile Port Richmond trail is an important connection through an industrial area that provides access between the city and Pulaski Park on the river. The project was spearheaded by the Delaware River City Corporation and Pennsylvania Environmental Council, one of our key partners in the region.

At the ceremony, the EPA announced a $200,000 brownfield area-wide planning grant to the City of Philadelphia to support many city and community efforts already underway, including the Port Richmond Trail and the overall plan for the North Delaware Greenway.

Read more in this Plan Philly article about the opening and this EPA press release.

Route 13 Passageway on Delaware and Lehigh Towpath Now Open

Another exciting trail opening was Monday's ribbon-cutting in Tullytown, PA, for the Route 13 Passageway along the Delaware and Lehigh Towpath in Bucks County. This project closes a key gap and provides a major safety improvement on the D&L Canal Towpath, which is part of the ECG. Prior to the passageway's opening, cyclists on the towpath had to take their bikes up the Route 13 embankment and cross the guiderail to reach the trails.

route 13 passageway trail opening

"The new pedestrian passageway is imperative to the Delaware & Lehigh Trail as a legitimate method of transportation," said Elissa M. Garafalo, President and Executive Director of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. "This opening will make it more accessible for everyone to use and enjoy."

Read more about the Passageway Opening in this article in Doylestown-Buckingham-New Britain Patch.

Bike Ride Explores Upcoming Trail Projects Along Delaware River in PA/NJ

On Saturday, Oct. 19th, 17 people biked from Philadelphia to Bristol and back along the PA and NJ sides of the Delaware River. The 60-mile loop ride showcased ECG development -- just completed and coming soon -- along the Delaware River north of Center City Philadelphia and on the New Jersey side along the Delaware River Heritage Trail and the Camden Greenway. Eleven new projects will be coming on line in the next few years between Philadelphia and Trenton.

On the Port Richmond Trail
Riders on the Port Richmond trail during the Philly to Bristol ride. Photo by Andy Hamilton.

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Congratulations, South Atlantic Raffle Winners!

As part of our recent Fall Greenway Summit and other events in Raleigh and Durham, NC, we raffled off several great items donated by Performance Bicycle and REI. Thank you to our generous sponsors, and congratulations to the raffle winners!

Tasha Johnson won a new bicycle provided by Performance Bicycle! And Bernard ElDorrado and Jimmy Benton won cool commuter bike bags from REI.

Bike donated by performance

Performance Bicycle donated this sweet bike!

Upcoming Events in the Region

Virginia: The dates for the 2014 Bike Virginia Tour have been announced: June 20-25. The route from Chesterfield to Williamsburg, VA, will overlap with much of the East Coast Greenway route. Learn more about the tour.

South Carolina: Our Fall 2014 State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council meeting will be held in Charleston, South Carolina (tentatively scheduled for November 8th). Details and more information to come. If you live in Charleston and want to volunteer or help with planning, please contact Niles Barnes at niles@greenway.org.

(You can read a recap of the recently-held Fall 2013 East Coast Greenway Summit on our blog.)

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Regional News: Southeast
1.9 Million Visit Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail in 2013

High five, Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail! The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection reported earlier this month that it was the top visited state trail during Florida’s 2013 fiscal year. This gorgeous section of the ECG through southernmost Monroe County had a record-breaking 1.98 visitors! When complete, the trail will be 106 miles long; more than 70 miles are complete today. Read more about the trail.

FL Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
Nearly 2 million people visited this section of the ECG in 2013. (Who can blame them?)


Florida Governor Attends ECG Groundbreaking

Herb Hiller and FL Governor Scott
Florida's Governor Rick Scott and the ECG's Herb Hiller at trail groundbreaking in Titusville, FL.

Florida Governor Rick Scott talked about trails with Southeast Region Program Consultant Herb Hiller at the recent groundbreaking for a bicycle-pedestrian bridge along a portion of the Greenway across Garden Street in Titusville.

"We are a state people want to come to, they want to come here to get outdoors." Said Governor Scott. "As we add more bike trails, more connectors, it means we are going to have more tourists."

According to Florida Today.com, Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley expects the trail, which is also part of a system that stretches from Miami to Maine [the ECG], will become a major tourist attraction for a city transitioning to ecotourism.

"These trails are not just nice to have as amenities, they are truly providing economic advantage for our state," Tulley said. "I expect we will be able to attract tourism visitors from across the country and literally around the world.”

Read the full article and see videos and see more pictures from the event.

ECG Benefits Economic Development in Rural Armstrong, FL

Armstrong, a small town in Northeast Florida, is working with Bike Florida to give its rural community an economic boost. Armstrong lies along part of the ECG, the Palatka to St. Augustine State Trail. Bike Florida is leading rides which will stop in Armstrong, which is also part of the historic Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Read more in this article that features the role of the Greenway in support of rural economic development.

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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.


Copyright 2013 East Coast Greenway Alliance