The most important factor in getting local greenway initiatives started and through the development process is active local support. We at the East Coast Greenway can set the vision, work with government officials and advocate for the advancement of project but an often overlooked part of the process is that these officials need to see and hear local support before they feel inclined to advance particular projects. The beauty of the East Coast Greenway is that the project is not implemented using a top down approach. It is truly a grass roots people movement. The challenge though is that when people don’t move projects will stall. My advice and challenge to all East Coast Greenway and bicycling and walking supporters is to get involved. Go to planning meetings, write letters to your elected officials, ask for more trails, and rally your community behind these initiatives. Be visible and be vocal. We here at the ECG will be happy to provide resources but power is in numbers.
I can list at least one East Coast Greenway segment off the top of my head in each state in the Mid Atlantic that requires a champion to help move the initiative forward from its current standstill.
1. NY-3.5 mile proposed path along Hutchinson Parkway from I 287 to NY-CT border.
2. Manhattan’s East River Greenway from 37th to 61st.
3. Connecting Newark and Jersey City with a safe multi use pathway.
4. Closing the 6 obstructions along the Delaware Canal Park Trail in Pennsylvania.
5. Support for a bicycle/walking bridge over the Christiana River in Delaware.
6. Demanding bike/walk access to the Hatem Bridge which crosses the Susquehanna River in Maryland.
7. Support the timely completion of key portions of the Metropolitan Branch Trail in DC.
Only through active citizen participation will these segments along the East Coast Greenway advance to fruition. Please contact me if you would like to get involved and champion one of these portions of the East Coast Greenway.