On Saturday, August 28, 400 participants will depart Liberty State Park as part of the inaugural New York City-to-Philadelphia Greenway Ride, a 2-day, 125-mile ride in support of the East Coast Greenway in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Following an overnight stop in Princeton, New Jersey, the journey will conclude Sunday, August 29, at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia.
Each participant also committed to raise funds in support of the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s work to further develop the route in the region. With just over one week to go, more than $230,000 has been raised to aid in this important work.
And according to East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano, the fundraising efforts of the NYC-to-Philly Ride participants could snowball into significant public investment.
“We typically see a return of $50 in public investment into East Coast Greenway projects for every $1 raised by our nonprofit organization,” he says. “A similar return from the fundraising dollars generated by our dedicated NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride participants could mean more than $10 million in public investment to enhance equitable active transportation in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”
With the average cost to construct one mile of greenway being around $1 million, efforts jump-started by this event could potentially lead to 10 new miles of protected pathways.
There are a number of key projects between New York City and Philadelphia that need public investment to help complete the East Coast Greenway, including the Essex-Hudson Greenway from Jersey City to Newark, the D&R Greenway Connector in Trenton and the Spring Garden Street Connector Project across Center City Philadelphia.
“These connections along the East Coast Greenway form the trunk trail of regional trail networks in development, such as the North Jersey Urban Trail Network and greater Philadelphia's Circuit Trails network," East Coast Greenway Mid-Atlantic Manager Daniel Paschall said.
Both the NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride and trail development projects involve Greenway staff members working closely with dozens of dedicated community partners. Paschall, along with the Alliance’s newly hired New York & New Jersey Coordinator Luis Diaz, lead the organization’s advocacy efforts in the region.
In 2020, the East Coast Greenway became the most visited park in the country, hosting 50 million bike rides, runs and walks in the corridor from Maine to Florida. More than 1,000 miles - over 35 percent - of the route is housed on traffic-free trails with more being added annually.
Key projects needed to expand and enhance the East Coast Greenway between New York City and Philadelphia include:
New Jersey: Build out the Essex-Hudson Greenway connector from Jersey City to Newark (9.2 miles)
New Jersey: Fill in the gaps between local park trails in Union County (14 miles) and Middlesex County, including linking the Middlesex Greenway to Donaldson Park (9 miles) and the Raritan River Park Connector Trail (0.8 miles)
Pennsylvania: Connect Bristol to Center City Philadelphia, including a trail from Bristol Marsh to Croydon Woods (2 miles), as well as the missing gaps along the Bensalem Greenway (4 miles) and along Northeast Philadelphia’s Delaware River Trail (4 miles)
Pennsylvania: Finish design and start construction on the Spring Garden Street Greenway, part of a larger, multimodal corridor overhaul including raised, protected bike lanes from the Delaware River Trail to the Schuylkill River Trail (2.2 miles)
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