Regional News: July 2016

New England

Maine: Brewer Riverwalk Reconnects Penobscot River

Cities across the country are revitalizing their waterfronts, uncovering and transforming former industrialized landscapes into lush green corridors. This trend is inspiring residents and visitors to reconnect with their urban waterways. Maine offers a handful of examples including Portland’s Eastern Promenade, the Bangor Waterfront, and the Androscoggin River Bicycle Path in Brunswick. Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.03.53 PM

The recently completed Brewer Riverwalk hugs the eastern banks of the Penobscot River. The 0.4-mile paved greenway offers a safe and enjoyable alternative to the busy State Route 9. It also mirrors the river’s western bank in neighboring Bangor, which is home to the 0.8-mile Waterfront Trail, designated as part of the ECG in Spring 2015.

The Brewer Riverwalk is particularly unique in that it makes connections to essential services like grocery stores and local attractions including the Brewer Children’s Garden and Mason’s Brewing Company, which opened shortly after the Riverwalk was complete.

We are currently working with the City of Brewer and the ECGA Greenway Council to officially designate this gem into the ECG travel route.

Connecticut: New Segment of Farmington Canal Heritage Trail Opens in Cheshire 

Farmington_Canal_RibboncuttingOn July 9, a new 1.5 miles of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail opened in Cheshire, Connecticut. This, along with another 2.5 miles to the north, will be designated as East Coast Greenway later this year. ECGA Tri-State Coordinator Bruce Donald spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with Connecticut’s DOT Commissioner James Redeker, Cheshire Town Manager Michael Milone, and others.

This new segment connects New Haven to northern Southington with only a small .67 mile gap remaining in Cheshire to be completed next year.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, August 20, 2016 – 3rd Annual ECG Lewiston Bike Fest Ride, This is a fun, festival-hopping ride intended for beginner/moderate cyclists (experienced cyclists are welcome, but we will be traveling at touring speed). Activities include a 36 and 60-mile loop option along the ECG route between Lewiston, Lisbon and Brunswick, Maine, with stops at both the Brunswick Outdoor Art Festival and the Great Falls Balloon FestivalRegistration is now open! For more information please visit the event facebook page!

Regional Media: Kennebec Rail Trail Offers Retreat in State’s CapitalBicycling Routes Through Williamstown Area Gain Prestigious National Designation | Putnam Opens New Section of Walking, Biking Trail


Mid-Atlantic

Delaware: General Assembly’s Budget Includes Over $20 Million for Trail Connecting New Castle to Wilmington

The Delaware General Assembly just agreed on a budget that includes over 20 million dollars for the development of the trail connecting New Castle to Wilmington. The project, which includes a large bridge, will connect the Russel W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge to the Delaware River. This will create a wonderful route for the East Coast Greenway, moving it off some very challenging roads. A big thanks to Governor Markell for his leadership and to Bike Delaware.

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At the ECG booth at the Hatem Bridge opening celebration.

Maryland: Hatem Bridge Now Open to Bicyclists

On July 1, the Hatem Bridge opened to bicycle traffic. This is a key crossing of the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Working with Bike Maryland and the September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance, the East Coast Greenway helped advocate for the opening of the Hatem Bridge.  The crossing of the Susquehanna closes a significant gap in the East Coast Greenway, as this was the largest gap in our entire national alignment.

Hatem Bridge Approach

Signage at the approach to the Hatem Bridge.

The Hatem Bridge is a road bridge, and bicycles must ride in the roadway with vehicles.  There are limitations that are imposed on the crossing for bicycles. You can read more information about bicycling on the bridge here. Current bicycle access times generally are:

  • Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday, dawn to dusk
  • State Holidays, dawn to dusk

However, bicycle access may be restricted in the event of fog, wind, other inclement weather, high traffic volumes or major traffic incident. In that case, notification will be made via variable message signs and on the Maryland Transportation Authority’s (MDTA) Twitter account.

Bicyclists must be 18 years of age or older OR have a valid driver’s license to cross the Hatem Bridge, and cyclists traveling eastbound must pay the 2-axle toll rate ($8) in the far right toll lane (cash and E-ZPass accepted). Credit cards are not accepted at the toll plaza.

(Read more in this article.)

Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 14, 2015 – Manhattan Loop Ridejoin the ECG NY committee for this ever-popular 32-mile ride around Manhattan’s rim. Heading up the East River Greenway past Roosevelt & Randalls Islands, the ride will go through Inwood and then down the Hudson River Greenway passing the George Washington Bridge, eventually reaching Battery Park. Free for ECG members. Not a member yet? Register now for a special rate – read more and register here.

Saturday & Sunday, September 17-18, 2016 – East Coast Greenway Winery Experience Tour in New Jersey, Our friends at Gotham Bike Tours are leading another winery tour on the ECG in New Jersey. A percent of the proceeds will go towards the development of the East Coast Greenway. Read more and register here.

Regional Media: 3,000-mile bike path to connect Philly to nearly entire East CoastBikes to start crossing Hatem on Friday


South Atlantic

South Carolina: Charleston City Council Approves Bicyclist and Pedestrian Lane on Ashley River Bridge

On July 19, the Charleston City Council voted in favor of a plan to convert a lane on the bridge crossing the Ashley River to bike and pedestrian use. The group voted 7-6 in favor of the proposed plan, which was great news to the hundreds of people who came to show their support of the plan. The vote came after Charleston County completed a study that measured the impacts of converting one of the bridge’s four lanes from car traffic to pedestrian and bike use. The study found that the change would delay traffic on Folly Road for about a minute, while the delay for people crossing the bridge from West Ashley would be only seconds.

(Read more in this article.)

North Carolina: First Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit to be held in 2017

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 1.57.05 PMThanks to a generous grant from the Triangle Community Foundation‘s Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Awareness program, the ECGA will host the first Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit in 2017 in the Triangle region of North Carolina. A special ‘Save the Date’ will be announced soon.

This summit will include professionals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors who are working to advance the creation of greenways and trails. The summit will serve as the platform for sharing best practices, building relationships, and influencing greenway development in the Southeast. The summit will focus on the states of VA, NC, SC, GA, & FL and will also welcome neighboring states in the South.

If you are interested in getting involved in Summit organizing, email our South Atlantic Coordinator, Kathryn Zeringue (kathryn@greenway.org)

Regional Media: Move Forward with a Bike Lane on the Legare BridgeDurham Cyclists Test Protected Lanes for Better Safety


Southeast

Florida: The first Completed Leg of The Sweetheart Trail in Downtown Daytona Beach Opened July 14enews

A new 1.5-mile of The Sweetheart Trail opened along the Halifax River through downtown Daytona Beach on July 14. The trail runs within view and easy access to Beach Street restaurants, watering holes and shops. It’s a special project of Zone 1 Commissioner Kelly White, shown at the opening.

The trail is named for the yacht of prominent turn-of-the-20th century civic leader Charles Burgoyne. (Read more in this article.) Photo courtesy Charles Smarr. 

Regional Media: 3,000-Mile Bike Trail Aims To Stretch From Key West To CanadaTrails Symposium a Think Tank for Ideas for SJC Greenway SystemNew Daytona Recreational Trail Opening


This blog post appeared in our July 2016 E-Newsletter – click this link to read the newsletter in full.