June 2012

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Momentum is Strong, Let's Keep it That Way

National News

  • Cabot Tour Finale July 7 in Portland, ME
  • Annual Report Now Available


  • New ECG Connection Closes Key Gap Between Newark and Jersey City

ECGA In the News

  • Newspapers, Local TV, and More

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

  • Upcoming Events in New England

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

  • Cabot Tour a Huge Success in Mid Atlantic

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

  • Tobacco Heritage Trail
  • Triangle Bike Ride and Event Wrap Up in NC
  • New Trail in Myrtle Beach, SC

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Growing Greenways in Florida
  • Miami Beach Trail Progress

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Andy Hamilton: Mid Atlantic Coordinator

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Debbie West: Office Manager / Communications

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Donate to the ECGA

Contact Us

Thank you to our major sponsors:

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Momentum is Strong, Let's Keep it That Way

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

As you can see in our "hot off the press" Annual Report, we are investing more in the project and it appears to be paying off.

Ribbon cuttings are taking place throughout the Maine to Florida corridor, and it feels as though the wind is at our backs. Greenway progress is taking place in so many communities that it's hard for our staff and many volunteers to even keep up.

A fifteen percent increase in revenue in 2011 allowed us to increase our investment in trail advocacy and signs by more than twenty-five percent. Meanwhile, our portion of total spending on fundraising and development fell, I'm proud to say.

Rather than take this success as a reason to sit back and relax, now is a great opportunity for us to build on our momentum. Please consider helping the East Coast Greenway move forward in 2012 by volunteering, donating, and/or helping to spread the word.

Together, we are building a sustainable & healthy world,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Cabot Tour Finale July 7th in Portland, Maine

Join us as we welcome the Cabot tour riders as they reach the finale celebration in Portland! The finale event takes place from 10 AM to 2 PM at Payson Park on Baxter Blvd. as part of the Celebrate Portland event. This day-long event will be filled with fun and games for the whole family, guest speakers and entertainment, tasty food and cooking demonstrations, and much more! This is your last chance to register to win a Breezer bike at the East Coast Greenway table!

SLUGGER will play ‘Toss the Cow’ with the kids and Hardcore Hooping will provide hula hooping fun. Don’t miss special performances by Pihcintu & Lucid Stage’s Community Choir throughout the event! There’s a Bike Rodeo for the younger bike enthusiasts from 10 to 1 and local Maine dairy farmers will bring in a calf for kids to pet. And of course you can sample the food that makes Maine great: lobster rolls, clam cakes, and more!

Cabot Creamery Cooperative will also announce the Reward Volunteers grand prize winners so get ready to cheer for community spirit, volunteerism, and big hearts! Enjoy a special day with your family, and encourage the spirit of cooperatives and volunteerism! Read more about the event.

cabot tour logo

Want to join the tour through riders for the last stretch of their adventure? There will be a Maine Bike Rally bike ride to the event, departing at 8:30 AM from the Maine Bike Rally site (Biddeford Middle School). Register onsite the day of, or get a Saturday day registration at mainebikerally.org. The ride is 24 miles one way, 49 round trip. Be ready to ride at 8:15 AM!

The ride will arrive at Payson Park between 11:30 and 11:45 AM, and will depart Payson Park between 1:00 and 1:30 PM to arrive in Biddeford around 4:00 PM.

2011 Annual Report Now Online
In 2011, increased revenue allowed us to mobilize our strong finances to invest 25% more in our programs and services throughout the year. The results included another 50 miles of designated greenway segments, dozens more miles signed, and a greater than 50% growth in our number of supporters to 15,000 people. Download our 2011 Annual Report here and read more. Thank you to all of our generous donors, members, and corporate and agency partners - you are building the East Coast Greenway!
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ECG Spotlight - Key Gap Closed in New Jersey
Newark to Jersey City ECG Section Officially Opened on June 22

June 22nd was a great day for the ECG in New Jersey! At 11:30 AM, Jersey City's Mayor Jerramiah Healy officially cut the ribbon to open a newly completed section of the ECG between Newark and Jersey City. For years, the NJDOT, ECGA, Newark and Jersey City staff worked hard to create a bike and pedestrian accessible route around some of the largest freeways in the area: the Pulaski Skyway, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Truck Route 1 & 9.


This corridor was previously inaccessible by bike or on foot - walkers and cyclists had to stop and get on a train. The newly opened segment of ECG is a key connection and we are very proud of our new "industrial" greenway section!

Friday's ribbon cutting event included NJDOT officials, The Mayor of Jersey City, Newark and Hudson County officials, and ECGA staff and key volunteers who worked on the project. Over 40 cyclists, led by New Jersey State Committee Chair Mike Kruimer, rode with the Cabot tour through-riders to attend the event. After the ribbon cutting, many people biked or walked to enjoy the newly completed section, despite the 95 degree heat.


"The work to create this section didn't just happen," writes ECGA Board Secretary and former ECG NJ State Committee Chair, Elizabeth Brody, who provided us with history about this section of the ECG:

Work on this corridor began in 1996, when Jim Girvan, a Somerset County planner and head of the NJ Committee, spearheaded the designation of the 28-mile Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath as a segment of the East Coast Greenway. The next step was in 2002, at a meeting at NJDOT’s headquarters in Trenton. Our then-Executive Director Karen Votava and Board Chair David Dionne, aided by NJ volunteers Mike and Anne Kruimer, pitched the potential of the East Coast Greenway to Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator Sheree Davis and other state DOT officials. Within weeks, the RBA Group, an engineering/planning firm, was contracted to conduct a “Northern New Jersey Route Location Study” for the ECG, to decide how best to connect South Bound Brook with the ECG in New York.

Thus began an intense 16-month process with numerous meetings throughout the four-county corridor. Annette Schultz and Mike Dannemiller of the RBA Group coordinated the efforts of governmental officials and employees at all levels, residents, and civic groups (the NJ-ECG Committee among them). We poured over maps, took field trips, listened to presentations, obtained letters of support, and otherwise worked to get “buy in” from a variety of stakeholders. This collaborative effort resulted in a May 2004 report that has been the basis for many new trail segments, most recently in October 2011 in Union County’s Lenape Park.

But the greatest challenge was how to cross the Jersey Meadowlands, and its two rivers, between Newark and Jersey City. A sign at Lincoln Park in Jersey City advised trail users “to stop here and NOT to venture any further onto route 1 or route 9.” They were advised to take a PATH train instead. That challenge is now met. In the future, we aim to develop this corridor into an even safer path along an abandoned rail line.

It was a great moment for the ECG in New Jersey when Andy Hamilton, ECGA's Mid-Atlantic Coordinator, and Sheree Davis, NJDOT's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator removed that sign at the June 22nd ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thank you to everyone who worked throughout the years to make this segment accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, from the Dodge and Mazer Foundations who supported the effort, to NJDOT's Jersey City Crew #222 who completed the construction.

sign removed

All photos by Steven Faust.

Thank you Elizabeth Brody for providing us with a history of this section of the ECG.

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ECGA In the News

We've been getting some great press lately as trail progress is made along different parts of our greenway. Here are some recent media highlights:

Video, Fox CT: Interview on TV News: ECG in CT

CBS Philadelphia: Promoting Trails, Cyclists Reach Philadelphia

Portland, ME Daily Sun: Bike Tour Celebrates Community and Cooperatives

NJ.com: Photos from the Newark to Jersey City Trail Grand Opening

Smyrna-Vingings, GA Patch: Dr. Glen Hirsh Pedals ECG for Fundraiser to Fight Pediatric Cancer

Londonderry, NH News: Londonderry Man Pedals for 57 Days

Manchester, CT Courant: ECG Advocate William O'Neill Honored in Greenway Ceremony

Fredericksburg, VA: Cabot Tour Comes to Fredericksburg

Video: Manchester, CT Patch: ECG Charter Oak Greenway Ribboncutting

Manchester, CT Courant: Charter Oak Greenway Dedication

We had a piece on Fox News' national network on June 22nd about the Newark to Jersey City trail opening! The piece may be re-run this weekend. We'll post a link next month if it is available.

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Regional News: New England
Upcoming ECG Events in New England

Join us for these exciting events that are coming up in Connecticut and Rhode Island!

Thursday, June 28, 8:30 - 10 AM: Cabot Community Tour breakfast send-off, Highland Park Market, 317 Highland St., Manchester CT. Sponsored by Highland Park Market.

Thursday, June 28, 6 - 8 PM: Cabot Community Tour cookout, Water St. Amphitheater, Danielson, CT. Sponsored by Danielson Adventure Sports.

Friday, June 29, 7 - 10 AM: Cabot Community Tour breakfast send off and media event, Water St. Amphitheater, Danielson, CT. Sponsored by Danielson Adventure Sports.

Saturday, June 30, 4 - 7 PM: Enjoy FREE treats for East Coast Greenway members and supporters! Cyclists and walkers attending the Discover Warren (RI) food truck gathering on the waterfront will get favors from the six participating food vendors if they show their bike helmets or ECG caps Location: Burr's Hill Park in Warren, right on the East Bay Bikepath, on the water. Food vendors include Mijos Tacos, Rocket Fine Street Food, and Like No Udder.

Sunday, July 1, 11 AM: Group ride in Providence, RI from India Point Park to Roger Williams Park for the Cabot Community Tour festival, "Local, Healthy and Cooperative." Leaving the India Point Park parking lot (India St., near the Wyndham Hotel) at 11 am.  Free to all who wear helmets and sign insurance waivers (waivers available on site). A Cannondale Synapse bicycle (size: 53 cm) will be raffled off at the event. Read more about the Providence event. cabot bike

Monday, July 2, 9 AM: Group ride from India Point Park (India St., Providence) to the Blackstone River Bikeway then back, on the East Coast Greenway. Select riders will continue to Worcester.  Leaving the India Point Park parking lot (near the Wyndham Hotel) at 9 AM. Free to all who wear helmets and sign insurance waivers (waivers available on site).

Saturday, July 7, 10 AM to 2 PM: The Cabot Community Tour concludes in Payson Park, Portland ME, the International Day of the Cooperative, as part of the Celebrate Portland Festival. Read more about the event. There is a 49-mile Maine Bike Rally bike ride to the event that starts at 8:30 AM.

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Riders Enjoy the ECG in the Mid Atlantic

The three Florida-to-Maine riders and scores of other cyclists recently went through the Mid Atlantic region. Despite rain and a few really hot days, they had an excellent experience in our region with the most completed greenway sections.

Highlights of their ride included Bob Spiegelman meeting his Senator, Jeanne Shaheen of NH in DC and discussing the importance of the ECG, trails and cooperatives. (See photo on Sen. Shaheen's Facebook page.)

The group rode from Annapolis to Baltimore, led by Greg Hinchliffe, the Maryland State Committee Chair. In Wilmington, DE, 100 riders, including the Delaware Dept. of Transportation's Secretary, Shailen Bhatt, joined the group riding to the Cabot event! In Philly, they were led through the city by long-time trail advocate Bob Thomas, who was one of the founders of the Schuylkill River Trail.

In New Jersey, the group attended the Newark to Jersey City ribboncutting event and were some of the first people to bike the new section of the ECG. On Saturday June 23rd, over 10,000 people attended the Adventures NYC event in Central Park, making it the largest so far on the Cabot tour!

Thank you to Mid Atlantic Coordinator Andy Hamilton, and all our excellent ECG volunteers who made the events such a success!

tour riders in baltimore

The tour riders in Baltimore.

nj ecg

Riding from Newark to Jersey City. Photo by Steven Faust.

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Regional News: South Atlantic
Tobacco Heritage Trail Momentum Continues

Tobacco Heritage Trail improvements in southern Virginia have been awarded for construction, with a notice to proceed expected soon. Improvements include trail completion of 10 miles from Lawrenceville to Brodnax, with packed gravel surface, as well as a bridge crossing the Meherrin River, and trail paving for four miles from Brodnax to LaCrosse. Suggestions for additional trail enhancements are welcome, since bids were received below estimates. Contact Heather Susee for more information at hsusee@southsidepdc.org.

Raleigh to Durham, NC Bike Ride and Event a Huge Success

On June 2nd, over 40 people joined the Cabot tour through-riders on the East Coast Greenway route in the Triangle. The weather couldn't have been better, and around 1,000 people attended the Coop-A-Fair event in Downtown Durham. We partnered with REI in Durham on a trail cleanup that afternoon, in which over 25 people participated to clean up a section of the ECG and its neighboring creek in Downtown Durham. Thank you to everyone who rode with us, volunteered at the event or the cleanup, and visited our booth!

Arriving at the event. Photos by Jerry Markatos, Markatos Photography.

riders arrive

through riders

Dennis Markatos-Soriano introduces the through-riders:
Bob Spiegelman of NH, and Cathy and Myron Skott of GA.

trail cleanup

New Trail in Myrtle Beach!

The final section of the Harrelson Boulevard Trail is complete!  Years in the making, this 1.5 mile trail connects the Myrtle Beach airport with US Route 17 and Grissom Parkway, making it both a vital connection to the seashore area as well as a great commuter route.  Huge kudos and thanks to the planning staff of the City of Myrtle Beach! 

Myrtle Beach trail

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Regional News: Southeast
Growing Greenways in Florida

The Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation is newly incorporating two coastal extensions into its Heart of Florida Loop that will reach Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast and Titusville on the Atlantic. The Atlantic portion will incorporate spine route and alternate route of the ECG. That alternate route, known as the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, is growing in two sections. Its length has doubled between St. Augustine and Palatka to 6.1 miles with funding in place for another 2.4 miles. Approximately five more miles, including a bike-ped bridge, are funded for the East Central Rail-Trail east of Deltona toward Maytown.

Our team is active in trail planning committees throughout the state. Florida State Committee Member and ECGA Trustee Paul Haydt is part of a leadership group at work on an 11.5-mile showcase trail through the Daytona Beaches. Sector towns include Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, South Daytona and Port Orange. Paul and Herb are also part of a Brevard County team planning new priorities for trail building through Florida’s Spacecoast led by V.P. Whit Blanton of the Renaissance Planning Group, Tampa, and Herb is part of a Cocoa Beach Highway Action Team acting on a Multimodal Corridor Planning & Engineering Analysis along Highway A1A. The project includes bicycling and trail aspects. Chief members include FDOT, the Space Coast TPO, and Kimley-Horn.

Did you miss the Growing Florida Greenways Webinar in May? It's available online here.

Miami Beach Trail Progress

The idea of multi-modal touring between West Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Key West was enthusiastically received at a public meeting convened by the City of Miami Beach to launch a new phase of its bike-trail plan. Almost six miles of beach front trail are already in place for which the city will seek designation at the November ECG Trail Council meeting.

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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 sponsoring a mile of trail today.

Get Involved! Volunteer, write a letter, help spread the word...learn about all the ways you can help create the ECG.

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.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright 2012 East Coast Greenway Alliance