March 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • The Power of Coming Together

National News

  • Just Published - 2012 State of the Trail Report
  • ECG Spring Meeting/Summit in Baltimore, April 27
  • Another Great National Bike Summit

Spotlight

  • Eric Weis, Celebrating 15 years at the East Coast Greenway

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles and More

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

  • New England Bike Walk Summit Returns this Fall
  • Connecticut Soon to Place More ECG Signs
  • Providence, RI Routing Revisions
  • Upcoming Events in New England

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

  • NJ Walking Challenge - Great Canal Walk April 6th
  • Exciting Developments in DE and PA

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

  • Greenway Events in the Triangle Region, NC
  • Raleigh to Host Fall ECG Greenway Summit Meetings

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Construction on New Florida Keys Greenway Sections
  • Palatka to St. Augustine Trail in Development




Forward this email to a friend!

Contact us: info@greenway.org

www.greenway.org


Join Button

Donate Button

Thank you to our major sponsors:

REI logo

tom's of Maine

KoenigRusso logo

Cabot Creamery

blue cross blue shield logo

Performance Bike

 

Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

The Power of Coming Together

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

With a busy work plan and emails and phone calls pouring in, it's easy to question whether we have time for summits and other events that crop up on the calendar. But indeed, gatherings like the National Bike Summit inspire us to keep up our tremendous greenway progress and connect us with key partners to do more than we might have imagined at the desk. We learn from allies new ways of accomplishing our goals of trail development and outreach.

That is why the East Coast Greenway Alliance hosts such programming throughout the year – from our spring and fall State of the Greenway Summits in Baltimore and Raleigh this year to our New England Bike Walk Summit in Providence this October.

We aim to show through the dedicated volunteerism of hundreds who come together face-to-face and the 20,000 in our communication network that an active citizenry wants a completed East Coast Greenway. Only this way does the message that our nation indeed needs a completed ECG get loud enough to achieve our dreams in the decade ahead and for generations to come.

Coming together gives us strength as individuals -- and as a movement poised to build healthy and sustainable communities throughout our Eastern Seaboard.

Together, we are building a prosperous America,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Back to Top

National ECGA News
2012 State of the Trail Report Now Out!

Each year we publish a State of the Trail Report to keep everyone apprised of our trail progress. The 2012 report was just completed, and is available for download here. (Want a hardcopy of the report? Email debbie@greenway.org.)

Some highlights of 2012: we designated more trail segments than ever before - over 50 miles of trail in 11 states and DC! And over 150 miles of the ECG were marked with signs, another record.

Each region added new trail, and our route is now 33% on completed trail in New England, 43% in the Mid Atlantic, 15% in the South Atlantic, and 29% in the Southeast. We are excited about our trail progress, and are busy designating and signing more East Coast Greenway this year!

2012 Designations

Join Us at the ECG Meeting in Baltimore - April 27

We hope you can make our State of the Greenway Summit on Saturday, April 27th at the World Trade Center in Baltimore! (401 E. Pratt Street.)

Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, will give the keynote address. Leaders from the State of Maryland, Baltimore City government, and other local and regional organizations will present in the morning, and our Trail Council meeting will be held in the afternoon. It will be an inspiring day!

On Friday April 26th, we'll host several activities including a walk and a happy hour reception. There will also be a bike ride at 7 that evening put on by Bikemore, a local bike advocacy group, part of which will go on the ECG!

Please RSVP to debbie@greenway.org if you wish to attend the meeting - all guests must be on an attendee list and bring valid ID to enter the facility. Please see our blog for more information about the events and hotel discounts. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

Another Great National Bike Summit

We really enjoyed participating in the National Bike Summit earlier this month in DC! The ECG was well represented by staff, along with many key volunteers. Along with 750 other bicycling advocates from around the country, we heard inspiring lectures, participated in informational workshops, and met with many members of congress.

Thank you to everyone who attended our reception at the Capitol City Brewing Company! It was the perfect event to debut our State of the Trail Report. We really enjoyed giving everyone an update about the ECG and enjoying some good food and drinks. After a second year with a standing-room only crowd, we'll be sure to get a bigger space next year!

DC recepton

Dennis speaking at the ECGA reception in DC

Back to Top

ECG In the News

Bangor Daily News, ME: Land Donation will Expand ECG in ME

Fosters.com: North Berwick to Host Community Forum on Eastern Trail in ME

The Herald News, MA: ECG Supports Development of the South Coast Bikeway

Darien Daily Voice, CT: Darien Joins 2,900-Mile East Coast Greenway

Daytona Beach News Journal, FL: ECG Trail Segment Near Completion

Back to Top

ECG Spotlight - Trail Coordinator, Eric Weis
Celebrating Eric's 15 Years with the ECGA!

On March 21, 1998, the ECGA welcomed its second full-time employee, Eric Weis. He and the ECGA's first Executive Director, Karen Votava, were the only staff at the time. The ECGA had only recently left the Open Space Institute, which had generously fiscally sponsored our organization in the early years.

Eric assisted with everything from trail development to working with partner agencies to communications to membership. Karen Votava, who retired in 2009, says, "I was well rewarded when I hired Eric... as he brought intelligence, resourcefulness, a breadth of skills, and passionate dedication to his work. He grew tremendously over the years and it was always a pleasure to work with him as a colleague."

In 1998, the ECG was still emerging, with trail segments coming online in some regions, but no route defined between DC and the Florida Keys. (See a newsletter from Spring 1998.) "The route was basically a thumbnail sketch at that time," says Eric. Since then, we have mapped the ECG route from Maine to Florida, and over 800 miles (28%) are now on greenway.

The progress we've made "seems dizzying to me.... When you consider the overall snapshot of what’s happened in the past 15 years, it’s very striking," says Eric. "One of the most important things our organization has accomplished is the creation of so many strong relationships to make the ECG happen, to make this wonderful vision a reality."

Eric has played a huge role in developing both our route and the relationships with local and state agencies that move it forward. Those relationships are essential to the success of the East Coast Greenway.

As an example, Eric states, "In 1998 we had just a vague idea of how the route was going to go through Virginia. Flash forward to 2013, and we have wonderful relationships with the Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Bicycling Federation, as well as scores of municipal and regional agencies across the Commonwealth of VA. The results of those relationships is a really terrific route from Arlington to the North Carolina state line. And thousands of ECG Virginia guides are now in the hands of residents all across the state."

When asked where he thinks the ECG will go in the next 15 years, Eric says "If the biggest accomplishments of the first 15 years are the establishment of the vision and its adoption from Maine to Florida, in the next 15 years we are going to see the big step forward and astounding growth in the number of people using the route."

"We all hope Eric stays with us at least another 15 years," says Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Executive Director. "Eric's mile-by-mile knowledge of our route and strong relationships throughout the corridor are a key pillar for our project."

Thank you, Eric, for everything you do for the ECG every day! You are truly making the East Coast safer, healthier, and more sustainable today, and for future generations!

Old ECG map

The ECG route around the time Eric started.

Eric and daughter

Eric and his daughter.

Back to Top

Regional News: New England
New England Bike-Walk Summit Returns this Fall!

You won't want to miss the New England Bike-Walk Summit, hosted by the East Coast Greenway Alliance, in Providence on October 4, 2013. We aim for this to be our biggest and best ever - topping 400 participants! Strong support from donor Sarah Hancock and sponsor Tom's of Maine have us in a a great position to put on a historic summit, that will have a profound impact on biking and walking throughout the region.

We will have a full day of interesting and relevant breakout sessions, field visits, a poster session, and lots of networking time! Our morning plenary speaker this year is Andy Clarke (President, League of American Bicyclists), and our Luncheon Keynote will be delivered by Keith Laughlin (President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy). We are presently soliciting topics for breakout sessions, and there are plenty of other sponsorship opportunities. Read here for more information. See you in Providence!

Connecticut Signage Program: Consistent Progress
We are so excited about more progress in CT! In the past few months, ECG signage has been endorsed by the Westport Board of Selectmen, the Darien Board of Selectmen, the Fairfield Police Commission, the Town of Hamden, and the City of Stamford Transportation Advisory Commission. And two other towns in CT have asked us to revise the route in order to bring the ECG through their borders. Here's to more ECG in the Nutmeg State!
RI Routing Revision

Over the past couple of years, we've received some comments about part of the route through Providence, RI. We always aim to balance safe streets (low volume, low speed), personal safety, and interesting and enjoyable route with amenities, and it was time to make revisions for several miles in Providence.

We "crowd-sourced" routing suggestions with help from wikimapping.com to maximize public input. The newly-adopted route is both safer and more interesting (northbound map, southbound map), for the first time going through the heart of downtown Providence, and much of Broadway (on bike lanes), with some of the region's best Victorian-era architecture. Our maps and cue sheets will be updated as soon as possible, for your spring biking and walking pleasure!

ECG in Providence

The ECG in Providence, RI

Great Upcoming Events in New England

Check out these interesting summits and conferences coming up soon in New England:

South Coast Bikeway Summit: Dartmouth MA, March 28 - TODAY 6-8 PM.
Connecticut Bike-Walk Summit: New Haven CT, April 27.
Massachusetts Trails Conference: Devens MA, May 4.
Maine Active Communities Conference: Waterville ME, May 7.

Back to Top

Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Walk the D&R Canal in NJ with the Freewalkers, April 6th

Our partners the FreeWalkers lead long-distance walks on the ECG in New Jersey each year, challenging people to walk 100 miles in the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge. Their first walk this year is the Great Canal Walk on April 6th, from Trenton to New Brunswick.

D&R Canal
On the D&R Canal in New Jersey

Participants will walk 40 miles of towpath along the historic D&R Canal, enjoying a beautiful, flat, mostly-natural walk along a tranquil hidden waterway in the middle of New Jersey. It's a wonderful surprise for any hiker or naturalist to experience. Visit the event site at TR2NB40.org or sign up for the Great Canal Walk today! The walks are free, and you can walk a shorter distance during the event if you don't wish to do 40 miles. Look for our ECG team helping with the SAG for the walk!

Other upcoming Freewalkers events are the Tween Walk from New Brunswick to Metro Park on April 20th and the Big Walk from Metro Park to Penn Station on May 18th. We hope you can participate in some of their inspiring events!

New Trails Coming in Pennsylvania and Delaware

Exciting things are happening on the Delaware and Lehigh Canal between Bristol and Morrisville, PA. In the next few years, the canal will be reopened for the first time in many decades! Thanks to everyone who is working on this for the East Coast Greenway and the Delaware and Lehigh Canal!

More greenway is coming in Delaware! Our partner DelDOT is planning for new trail along Route 273 in the New Castle area. Construction is slated to start in the fall. Read more about the project here.

Back to Top

Regional News: South Atlantic
Exciting Greenway Events in the Triangle, NC

Check out these fun events celebrating the greenways in the Triangle region of NC - all of these events are on sections of the East Coast Greenway!

Trails Season Kickoff, Durham, April 4th, 5:30 - 7 PM, on the ATT at the corner of Morehead and Blackwell (across from the Bull's stadium). Celebrate the beginning of the trails season in Durham - activities will include a walk, information booths, vendors, and bike tuneups! Look for us at the ECGA booth!

Clayton River Walk on the Neuse Trail Dedication, April 5, 3 PM, 2686 Covered Bridge Road, Clayton, NC. The Town of Clayton will dedicate its beautiful new River Walk on the Neuse River Greenway.

Neuse River Greenway Dedication, April 25th, 5 - 7 PM, Anderson Point Park, 20 Anderson Drive, Raleigh, NC. Join us in celebrating the Neuse River Greenway! This beautiful 33-mile trail connects the Raleigh greenway system to Clayton, NC, and about half of it is East Coast Greenway route. Read more about the Neuse River Greenway project here.

ECG Summit & Trail Council Meeting Coming to Raleigh, Oct. 26

Save the date for our Fall State of the Greenway Summit and Trail Council meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina! The meeting will be on Oct. 26th, with special events leading up to it on Friday, Oct. 25th.

The Triangle region of NC is not only our headquarters' home, but is a signature section of the ECG with 75 miles of ECG route, over 85% of which will be on greenway by this fall! We also aim to fully sign the ECG route through the region by the time of the meeting. We are really looking forward to hosting y'all in our area - hope you can make it!

Back to Top

Regional News: Southeast
Construction Underway on New Sections of Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

We can't wait to try out several new greenway sections that are under construction on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail! The new sections of the trail include an underpass which will provide bicycle and pedestrian access to an important local community, and a beautiful boardwalk across a wetlands area. Likely complete by the end of the year, the new sections will total 17 miles. When these sections are done, this popular trail will be 87 miles long, with only another 20 to be built before entirely complete.

The longest of the new sections is 10 miles between Lower Sugarloaf Key and Summerlin Key, the section that includes the boardwalk.

Summerlin Boardwalk

The 4.8 mile section near Key Haven on Big Coppitt Key includes the underpass below the bridge that leads to the Boca Chica Navy Airbase.

Boca Chica Underpass

Photos courtesy of Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection

Palatka to St. Augustine Trail in Development, FL

Economic development planning has started along the Palatka-St. Augustine State Trail in southeastern St. Johns County. This trail will be a leg of the St. Johns River to the Sea Loop, an alternate ECG route in eastern central FL. The planning includes trailside projects in the village of Armstrong and more ambitious projects alongside the St. Johns County Fairgrounds on four-lane SR 207 that parallels the trail.

St. Johns County Housing and Community Development Manager Benjamin Coney chairs the task force that so far includes Malinda Peeples of the SEA Community (Spuds, Elkton, Armstrong), managing partner of Freedom Road Derek Boyd Hankerson whose work celebrates African-American history in Florida, Catherine Taylor of St. Johns County Schools, SEA advisor Catherine Taylor, St. Johns County homeless advocate Mary Lawrence, and ECGA Southeast Region Program Consultant Herb Hiller.

Read more about the project here.

Back to Top

***

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