During a ceremony on March 10, members of the East Coast Greenway Alliance staff and trustees, Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg, and other officials dedicated a section of the Greenway and a commemorative plaque installed in an Alexandria, VA, park. The city — across the Potomac River from Washington, DC — is roughly halfway along the Greenway’s 3,000-mile route from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida.
“The East Coast Greenway is a fantastic amenity for our entire nation, and we are proud that Alexandria sits at its heart,” Mayor Silberberg said at the blustery afternoon dedication. “I look forward to welcoming even more visitors on foot and by bike to our beloved, historic city.”
The ceremony served to formally designate Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail, from Four Mile Run to Cameron Run, as a part of the East Coast Greenway. The five-mile stretch is one of the most widely used sections of the Greenway and one of the region’s premiere walking and biking paths. In 2016 alone, more than 500,000 trips took place on this segment. The Greenway and its network of multi-use paths serves our nation’s most populated corridor, offering safe places to exercise, alternative commuting options, bicycle tourism routes, and reduced roadway congestion and pollution.
The dedication ceremony took place beside a plaque installed in Oronoco Bay Park near the junction of the Mount Vernon Trail and Pendleton Street. Patricia King, one of the founders of the East Coast Greenway 25 years ago, donated the plaque and marker in honor of her parents, Paul and Doris Bankes, for their generous support of the Greenway.
“We appreciate so many people who have helped build the dream of the East Coast Greenway thus far,” said Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director of the Alliance. “Getting the Greenway done is often a family affair, with spouses and kids and grandparents pitching in. In the early days of the Alliance, Pat would host day-long meetings at her house and her husband, Tom, would cook for everyone.”
Tom Kaiden, Chief Operating Officer of Visit Alexandria and vice chair of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, noted Alexandria’s growing status, regionally and nationally, as a pedestrian and bike-friendly community. The growing number of Greenway users, locals and visitors, contribute increasingly to the local economy.
Read more of our April 2017 newsletter, On the Greenway