PHILADELPHIA - On August 28-29, the East Coast Greenway Alliance - and 400 dedicated participants - completed the first official New York City-to-Philadelphia Greenway Ride, a 2-day, 125-mile ride in support of further development of the 3,000-mile Maine-to-Florida bicycle and pedestrian route.
The fundraising efforts of participants and support of corporate partners surpassed $300,000, which will go to completion of greenways and trails in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This total marks the most successful fundraising event in the 30-year history of the nonprofit.
“As we build the East Coast Greenway out and move more of it off roads and onto trails, we can transform the way people move throughout our region. We can build a healthy, equitable, and sustainable future as people bike and walk to work, school, and play,” East Coast Greenway Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano said at the opening ceremony.
“Together, we can complete a connected, safe and accessible route for everyone from little kids learning how to ride to their grandparents exploring their neighborhood or 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida.”
Historically, every dollar donated to the East Coast Greenway Alliance has turned into more than $50 in public investment. This effort is poised to leverage over $15 million to close gaps in the Greenway, according to Markatos-Soriano.
Rebecca Feldman of Morristown, New Jersey, was among the riders who were grateful for an impactful experience. “Thank you for enabling hundreds of us to ride streets and trails that connect so many communities. I came home more committed than ever to ensuring that everyone in New Jersey has safe and equitable access for walking, running and riding bikes.”
“I hope we can make this an annual event to get more people engaged in advocating for a continuous greenway from Maine to Florida,” added rider Peter Kim of Philadelphia.
Building on a successful debut, the 2022 NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride will be held May 21-22. Registration will open in October 2021, and interested participants should sign up for the ride email list at greenway.org/nyctophilly to be among the first to be alerted when registration is open.
The NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride is produced by East Coast Greenway partner Global Impact Productions,
Unfortunately, much of the ride route has since been affected by flooding resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. “Our thoughts are with those in the New York City to Philadelphia corridor and beyond,” Markatos-Soriano said. “We are more committed than ever to complete our 3,000-mile project, lower emissions and build resilient communities from Maine to Florida.”
After departing Jersey City’s Liberty State Park and passing through Staten Island via on-road routes and the Bayonne and Goethals bridges, NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride participants rode through scenic parks in New Jersey’s Union and Middlesex counties. From there, riders could choose to ride the natural-surface D&R Canal Trail or an on-road route into Princeton for the overnight stop.
The local community enthusiastically welcomed riders with special discounts and perks at local businesses. After a restful night camping at the Princeton YMCA or in local hotels, Princeton Mayor Mark Freda addressed the riders before they departed for Philadelphia.
Day two featured more riding on the D&R Canal Trail - or the on-road route - before crossing into Pennsylvania, which featured the D&L Trail, on-road segments, and time on Philadelphia's developing Delaware River Trail before finishing at Penn Treaty Park.
Along the way, riders refueled at three daily oasis stops - plus lunch on Saturday, August 28 - staffed by Greenway partners and volunteers.
In an effort to foster a safe, outdoor event atmosphere, all ride participants were required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to participation.
We'll send monthly updates on East Coast Greenway progress and people.
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