January 2013

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Poised for Impact in 2013

National News

  • Save the Date - National Bike Summit
  • Sally Jacob's Family Presents ECG Tile
  • ECG State of the Trail Summit April 27

Spotlight

  • Safe Passing Signs on the ECG

ECG In the News

  • Great Newspaper Articles and More

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

  • Rail Trail on NH Seacoast
  • New Sections of Northern Strand Community Trail Open
  • Connecticut Meeting Feb. 7 in Hartford

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

  • Bronx River Trail Expansion
  • Jones Fall Trail Near Completion

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

  • ATT Bridge Close to Completion

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • 40-Mile Loop Coming in Miami
  • Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign Working on Key Conservation Amendment




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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Poised for Impact Throughout 2013

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

Often it seems like greenway progress hibernates for the winter, but not this winter. As you can see below, new trail segments are coming online near our HQ's doorstep in North Carolina and throughout the corridor.

We are in a strong position to make a big impact this year, with plans to sign a record 300 miles of our route, to integrate 50 miles of new greenway into our system through designations, and to enhance the greenway experience with an ECG 1.0 app. You'll have many opportunities to enjoy the route with us, from ribbon cuttings of new sections to long-distance bike tours and afternoon group walks. We'll keep you in the loop on all of it.

Thank you for your support. I look forward to moving our project forward together in the year ahead!

To a sustainable & healthy America,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Save the Date for the National Bike Summit - March 4 - 7 in DC

The ECGA is excited to attend the upcoming National Bike Summit in DC, hosted by the League of American Bicyclists. There is so much positive momentum for cycling in communities across the US, and also much work to do. Come to the Summit and show your support for cycling! You can see the full schedule here, and register here.

We'll be hosting a happy hour event on Tuesday, March 5 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Look for details next month!

Sally Jacobs' Family Presents ECG Tile to Sunrise Trail Coalition

In honor of Sally Jacob's many contributions to the ECG in Maine, the ECGA presented a 20th anniversary tile to her family at the Sunrise Trail Coalition Annual meeting on December 3. Sally's daughters, Jenny Leach and Stephanie Lull, presented the award to the Sunrise Trail Coalition in her honor. The tile will be displayed at the DEST office of Charlie Corliss in Cherryfield, ME.

A notation on the back of the tile reads: "The East Coast Greenway Alliance presented this special edition 20th Anniversary, handcrafted tile in honor of Sally Jacobs, a founder of the Downeast Sunrise Trail and former President of the Sunrise Trail Coalition, for her many contributions promoting the East Coast Greenway in Maine." The tile was made by artist Katia McGuirk of Doylestown, PA.

Thank you to Sally's family - we'll always be inspired by her visionary leadership and strong will to move the project forward.

Sally Jacobs Award

Sally's daughters, Stephanie Lull and Jennifer Leech, present the ECG Tile to Charlie Corliss, the Downeast Sunrise Trail Manager.

ECG State of the Trail Summit - April 27 in Baltimore, MD

Everyone is invited to join us in Baltimore, Maryland for our next National ECG meetings! We'll have several activities including a walk and a happy hour reception on Friday, April 26th. Our State of the Trail Summit will take place on Saturday, April 27th. The meeting will be at the World Trade Center in Baltimore. We are excited to have Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, as our keynote speaker. He and several other speakers will present in the morning, and our Trail Council meeting will be held in the afternoon. Stay tuned next month for more details!

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ECG In the News

Rails to Trails Conservancy: CT on a Roll as Trail Gaps Disappear

The Cary News: ECG Trail Runs Maine to Florida

Hartford Courant: Bringing the Charter Oak and ECG to Bolton Notch

Hartford Courant: Bring Tourists, Commuters to Hartford

Mount Vernon Patch: Trail Links 9-11 Sites

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ECG Spotlight - Sharing the ECG
Signs are Fostering a Safer Greenway

We all want to enjoy the ECG, whatever mode we're using. Greenway sections can get crowded at peak times, which is a good opportunity for all of us to slow down, enjoy the view, and be aware of who's on the greenway around us.

Different ECG sections may not have the same rules about what side of the greenway to ride or pass on, so look for signs at trailheads that remind you of some of the safety and use tips on that specific trail.

Here are a few general reminders about sharing the trail: walkers, stay to one side of the trail so people can pass you, and keep dogs on short leashes. Cyclists and runners, please look out for slower trail users who may not be aware of you behind them, especially children. It's a good idea to give a bell ring or call out when passing so as not to startle anyone. On a trail sections that are used by equestrians, all other modes should yield to horses. We recommend that if you use earbuds while on the trail, you keep them in only one ear to be more alert to your surroundings.

Some communities have recently installed signs to remind trail users to alert others when they are passing. East Coast Greenway Alliance member Ann Marie Potter of Simsbury, CT, is on a mission to get signs installed on the ECG that read: "Cyclists Must Alert When Passing."

She is a cyclist and bicycle activist who wants to remind bikers to either ring a bell, or call out: "On your left," when passing slower trail users. "I’m trying to raise awareness of a safety issue and a matter of courtesy, especially in more congested sections," said Ann Marie.

Ann Marie worked with Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman to install the green-and-white signs on the Simsbury portion, which extends for more than eight miles. Thanks to efforts like these, in 2010, Simsbury was named a bronze-level, Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

safe passing signs

Simsbury, CT's First Selectman (mayor) Mary Glassman and Ann Marie Potter with newly installed safe passing signs.

 

 

Neighboring Farmington, CT, and Southwick, MA, are following Simsbury’s lead by installing signs along the Greenway in their communities. Ann Marie is working with other communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts to get signs placed in them as well. (For more information on the safe passing signs, please contact Ann Marie at ampotter3@sbcglobal.net.)

We have similar signs on the ECG in Durham, NC, which were installed in 2012 by the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy, and they have been a great reminder!

Everyone please remember to look out for other people using the trail. A little communication makes the ECG safer and more enjoyable for all of us!

By Ann Marie Potter and Debbie West, ECGA

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Regional News: New England
Rail-Trail on New Hampshire's Seacoast

The long-proposed rail-trail for New Hampshire's Seacoast region is closer to reality. The private freight hauler which owns the corridor has completed its abandonment procedures, and now wishes to sell, 10 miles for $4 million. This is more than the state can pay, but we expect negotiations to lead to a suitable agreement. The right-of-way ranges from 66 feet to over 100 feet wide, so there is plenty of room for trail!

Northampton Station

The old passenger station in North Hampton has been fully rehabilitated, including the semaphores for signalling oncoming trains, and is now in private ownership. Photo by ECGA.

New Sections of Northern Strand Community Trail Now Open

Spectacular progress continues along the Northern Strand Community Trail, north of Boston. Malden just opened its section with a firm unpaved surface, and already Mayor Christensen has announced a $600,000 bond to pave the trail by fall of 2013. In Saugus, the trail is open from Laurel Ave to Central St. (1.4 mi) with a firm unpaved surface, and the City expects to complete the final mile to the Lynn border by spring 2013. The 110' bridge over the Saugus River is already complete. And the City of Everett has completed design work and is pulling the funds together to pave its section in 2013 or 2014. Read more here.

Saugus RR Bridge

Trail bridge carrying the Northern Strand Community Trail over the Saugus River. Photo courtesy of Bike to the Sea.

ECGA Connecticut Meeting, Feb 7th in Hartford

The ECG Connecticut committee is pleased to invite you to its 2013 Members Meeting! February 7, 6-9 PM, at the Spotlight Cinemas, 39 Front Street in Hartford (see map/directions). Everyone is welcome, so bring friends who may not be members yet!

A social hour at the restaurant/bar from 6 to 7 will precede remarks from elected officials and agency personnel, followed by reports from the East Coast Greenway Alliance and Bike-Walk Connecticut. Plenty of time has been built in for Q&A, so you can ask ECGA staff about the trails in your state. See you there!

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Bronx River Greenway

Thank you to the City Council of Yonkers and Council President Chuck Lesnick! The Yonkers Council voted to fund their match toward federal dollars that will extend the Bronx River Greenway. Westchester County is now working on their funding match to the project. It's exciting that we may see another key gap closing in the next couple years.

Jones Falls Trail Nearing Completion in Baltimore, MD

Another 2.4 miles of ECG will be coming online in Baltimore soon! The Jones Falls Trail connecting to the Gwynn Falls trail is close to completion, and is expected to be ready to go in the spring of 2013. Many thanks to the City of Baltimore; Mayor Blake; and Nate Evans, Baltimore's Bike and Pedestrian Planner. We look forward to celebrating the trail at our Spring meeting in Baltimore on April 27th.

Jones Fall Trail

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Key ECG Project Nears Completion, Durham, NC

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-40 along the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC is nearing completion! The bridge will close a key gap in the 22-mile ATT. The project also includes trail improvements on either side of the bridge, some of which are already complete. The trail is now paved between Renaissance Parkway south to the Chatham County line, and on a recent weekend, many people were already out enjoying it.

Crews are currently working on the finishing touches of the trail between Renaissance Parkway and Massey Chapel Road, so please use caution if using that part of the trail. The sections between Renaissance Parkway and I-40 and I-40 and Highgate Drive are closed, as heavy equipment needs to access the area in preparation for the bridge installation, which is projected to occur in March. Users are asked to stay off those sections until the work is complete. (See construction updates from the City of Durham here.)

ATT south of Renaissance

The newly-paved ATT south of Renaissance Parkway in Jan. 2013.

The ECGA, with North Carolina Rail-Trails and the Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy, are holding a Worker Appreciation Breakfast to thank the folks at Blythe Construction for all their hard work and dedication to this project. Everyone is welcome to join us for bagels and coffee on Friday, February 8th at 9 AM - please RSVP to debbie@greenway.org if you plan to attend. Thank you to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for sponsoring for this event and many more as we celebrate this huge achievement in the spring and summer!

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Regional News: Southeast
40-mile Loop Coming to Miami, FL

By 2014, cyclists along the East Coast Greenway through the south side of Miami will be able to bike a 40-mile loop that links regional parks and heritage sites. The loop will also connect with a commuter rail line that can transport cyclists and their bikes to and from Miami International Airport and continuing as far north as West Palm Beach. What forms the loop is a 17-mile east-west trail that entered construction at the end of October, and that will cross the Greenway at SW 117th Avenue in Cutler Ridge. From there, the new Black Creek Trail will extend the new east-west trail farther east to a pair of north-south trails -- the Biscayne and Old Cutler Trails through Coconut Grove all the way out and back from the big oceanfront parks of Key Biscayne.

The only gap in the loop will be less than a half-mile from toll gates that lead onto the Rickenbacker Causeway east to Key Biscayne and west to the Greenway where it runs beneath the elevated Metrorail alignment at Vizcaya Station.

Cyclists coming north from the Keys will able to ride either a more direct South Dade Trail and M-Path to downtown Miami or the more scenic route that by mid-decade will provide the eastern alternative out to Key Biscayne and back to the M-Path at Vizcaya.

ECGA Supports Florida's Water and Land Legacy Campaign

Protecting our waters, cherished natural areas and wildlife are fundamental to a healthy and vibrant Florida. Florida residents, the Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign is working to place a critical conservation amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The East Coast Greenway Alliance fully supports this important initiative, and we encourage you to support them and help out if you can. The Legacy Campaign is seeking volunteers to cover as many festivals and events happening throughout Florida in the coming months. You can join the campaign and get involved by signing up at www.floridawaterlandlegacy.org/volunteer.

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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