June/July 2009

In This Issue...


National News

  • Message from the Executive Director
  • Mail Delivery Snafu
  • New Faces at the Alliance
  • Grants Awarded
  • Dan and Sadie's Tour

Regional News: New England

  • Rail-with-Trail Implementation
  • Bridge Re-Opened...Temporarily
  • Maine Trail Work Progessing Despite the Beavers
  • Much Ado About the Farmington

Regional News: Mid Atlantic

  • The East Coast Greenway Has Arrived!
  • ECGA Publication Guides Walkers, Bicyclists Along Greenway in Manhattan and the Bronx
  • East Coast Greenway Member Discount!
  • NJ Committee Stays Active!
  • PEC Working to Complete Southeast Pennsylvania Greenway
  • Met Branch Trail Updates
  • Mayor Fenty Announces the Start of Construction on Metropolitan Branch Trail

Regional News: South Atlantic

 
  • Wilson Bridge Bike Path Gets Rolling
  • East Coast Greenway Takes Shape in Virginia
  • Cary Greenway to Join East Coast Greenway
  • Bike Trail Gears up In Myrtle Beach


ECG News Online
is a publication of the
East Coast Greenway Alliance,
a national non-profit membership organization spearheading the development of the East Coast Greenway. The ECG is a developing 3,000-mile, traffic-free, firm-surfaced route linking cities and towns between Maine and Florida.

Staff
Karen Votava: Executive Director

Steve Bevington: South Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Kitty Carter: Office Manager / Membership Coordinator / Bookkeeper

Jane Fawcett: Financial Advisor

Danielle Fisher: Intern Webmaster

Kathleen Klinger: Administrative Assistant

Kelly McClintock: Donor Program Coordinator

Dolores Newman: NJ Program Consultant

Mike Oliva: Mid-Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Ashley Schnittker: Communications Intern

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator & New England Regional Trail Coordinator


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National ECGA News

Message from ECGA Executive Director Karen Votava

Ushering in the summer cycling season, Dan McCrady and his yellow lab Sadie hit the trail on May 23rd in Annapolis, Maryland with the goal (which they achieved) of reaching Portland, Maine by June 13. They undertook this to promote awareness and support for the Greenway.

Importantly, their trip also symbolized the transformation which the East Coast Greenway has witnessed in the past two years with our entire 3000-mile route fully defined with maps, cue sheets and more signage posted to facilitate public travel along this route.   Increasing numbers of people are downloading our cue sheets, checking out our state trail guides and getting out to see what a trip along the Greenway holds in store. This has enabled us to gain more insight into user needs as we are fed back impressions and experiences. We are also learning from those traveling the route about deficiencies with our cue sheets and ideas for improving the routing that will help us improve both.

Dan, who relied almost exclusively on our cue sheets, found some inaccuracies. Our cue sheets were vetted almost two years ago when two individuals rode the entire route, from north to south, and reported back corrections. Later, these southbound cue sheets were reversed to create a northbound set of cues. Inevitably there were some errors in this transposing that only a field check would reveal.  

In order to put in place a system for regular checking of our cue sheets, as well as ensuring that our posted trail markers remain properly in place, we need your help. We are developing a guidance document that will enable volunteer field checkers to produce consistent results. We are recruiting people to join teams in each state who will be trained and tasked with going out to verify the accuracy of the cue sheets, ensure signage is in place and report any route conditions that we need to know about. Temporary routing problems can be posted on our web site to alert trail users in advance of any travel they plan.

Our newly revised web site, launched this past February, is also getting vetted. We have been cleaning up errors and adding more information. Please report your comments to Danielle@greenway.org. We are also seeking a volunteer in each of our 16 states to manage their state pages. Thus far we have persons in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you are interested, please also contact Danielle@greenway.org.

 

Happy trails!   

Karen Votava, Executive Director  


Attention: Mail Delivery Snafu Over Minor Address Change

It seems that small things make a big difference to the US Postal Service, which recently changed our mailing address from 27 North Road to 27B North Road.  As a result, many letters sent to us in the months of May and June were sent back to their senders.  If you mailed in a contribution and are not sure that it was received, please send an email to Kitty@greenway.org with your name, address, and the amount of your contribution, asking that she confirm receipt.   If it was returned, please resend it to our new 27B address, and please remember to use 27b on future correspondence.  


New Faces at the Alliance!

Jean Frisbie, who last October so ably assumed the role of Communications Coordinator from Tanja Wiant (who moved to Boulder), has left us but we are fortunate to have two summer interns taking on a good portion of Jean's work.  Ashley Schnittker, a senior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in communications, is here part time this summer. She is editing our newsletters and handling our media relations. Ashley is thrilled to be part of this project and has been spreading the word among friends and family and with local bike shops back in her home territory of Nyack, NY. Danielle Fisher, a student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, is spending the summer at Talisman Interactive in Philadelphia.   Talisman is donating a portion of her time to the Alliance so that Danielle can help manage our web site. We are fortunate to have such bright and committed young women keeping our communications program active.

We also welcome two new additions to the Alliance Board of Trustees. Aron Sotnikoff joined our board in April. He hails from New York City and brings a love of hiking and cycling and a strong financial background as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and audit supervisor at Rosen Seymour Shapss Martin & Company LLP . Steve Mitchell also joined us in April and is one our most exuberant and effective Ambassadors.   Steve's car dealership, which includes Subaru, is situated along the ECG in Connecticut and he has helped forge a connection with the automotive industry through a series of car shows which provided exhibit space for the ECG, bringing us to a new audience. Steve also will be conducting the second Pelli to Pelli bike ride on September 20th from New Haven to Hartford along the ECG. Steve is helping us develop some important corporate connections for the Greenway. For more information about our staff and board visit About the Alliance on our web site and click on "Meet the Alliance."


Alliance Awarded 3 Grants

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has announced a grant of $10,000 to the ECGA in support of our program in New Jersey. This is the fourth year of funding to the Alliance from the Dodge Foundation. It will enable Regional Trail Program Coordinator Michael Oliva to spend time advancing the Greenway in New Jersey and will also support our New Jersey Committee in its work including staff person Dolores Newman.

The Newman's Own Foundation has awarded the ECGA $10,000 for our work to advance a trail along the Merrittt Parkway in Connecticut. This will fund Eric Weis, our Trail Program Coordinator, in hisadvocacy efforts and will help organize a Fairfield County ECG-Bike-Ped Summit to be held this fall. ECGA partner Linda Hoza and the Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance have been longtime advocates for the Merritt Parkway Trail and will be supported in their work on the Summit.

REI, a loyal supporter of the ECGA, has made an award of $5,000 toward our New England Ambassador program. This follows a $10,000 grant awarded by REI two years ago that enabled the Alliance to establish this program which recruited 31 volunteers to serve as Ambassadors who spread the word about the Greenway within their local areas. ECGA trained these individuals and armed them with an Advocacy Toolkit including a bag of materials to hand out at events. In its first year, the Ambassador Program participants contributed hundreds of hours promoting the ECG. The grant will enable the Alliance to bring a program coordinator on staff part time and to print needed promotional materials for Ambassadors to distribute.

 

Yellow Lab Trots and Bikes 850 Miles in Support of the East Coast Greenway

Sadie, a winsome yellow Lab from Annapolis, Maryland, has joined Patch, a black mixed breed pup, as a long-distance traveler on the ECG and an Alliance supporter. Patch traveled in 2006 with Kerry Dooley and Andy Castelano on their honeymoon cycling trip from New Haven, CT to Key West, FL. 

This spring Sadie and her human friend Dan McCrady cycled (and she often trotted 10-15 miles/day) from their home in Annapolis to Portland, Maine. The trip took 3 weeks, covered 850 miles and averaged 55 miles a day not counting rest days. They undertook this ride to raise awareness and support for the East Coast Greenway. The trip raised over $5000 in donations, brought two new corporate sponsors to the ECGA (Sun Bicycles and Solvit Products) and garnered over a score of media spots, both print and television.

The two were sent off on May 21st by Mayor Ellen Moyer of Annapolis, carrying a package to hand off to Mayor Tom Blake of South Portland. Their arrival in Maine was a celebratory event that brought out dog lovers and cyclists.

After several days of inclement weather in Maine, the sun came out on Saturday, June 13 for the final miles into Portland.  Dan's wife, Eileen, and his daughter (who flew in from Colorado to surprise her dad) were present for the last day. Members of the Eastern Trail Alliance and the East Coast Greenway Alliance accompanied Dan and Sadie on the last 6-mile ride on the South Portland Greenbelt.   The Mayor of South Portland, Tom Blake, rode his bike alongside Dan and Sadie on the short ride to the waterfront.

With the islands of Casco Bay as a stunning backdrop, Dan and Sadie were met by about 25 people and their dogs at the city's lighthouse park. There, a proclamation was read by the Mayor and the city presented Sadie with a pizza-sized dog treat along with a toy lobster to go with her crab from Annapolis.

Although it was difficult to load Dan's recumbent bike and trailer onto the water taxi, Sadie had no problem hopping into the boat for the ride across the harbor to the East Prom trail. Dan and Sadie walked with Portland Trails members along the waterfront to East End beach to be greeted by more dogs and their owners as well as two TV crews. Sadie received more dog treats and toys from the City of Portland. Sadie and Dan were interviewed and the subsequent newscast was shown three times on two TV channels over the weekend. The last photo was Dan and Sadie doing a 'high-five' for a job well done.

The Alliance and our partners supported Dan and Sadie by:  

•  Helping to arrange for most nights to be spent with ECG friends

•  Soliciting donation of a recumbent bicycle by Sun Bicycles and a dog trailer by Solvit Products

•  Providing maps and cue sheets and specific routing directions

•  Promoting media coverage and conducting media events in a variety of locations including Philadelphia and Bristol, PA, Hartford CT and Portland, Maine.  

•  When Dan's bike broke down ECGA partner Biller's Bikes in Havre De Grace, Maryland was able to get it back up and running and he got similar support from other bike shops en route, all donated.

Dan provided this trip summary:

- met two mayors, one mayor's representative, one selectman

- interviewed for TV 3 times (1 time in their studio)

- interviewed for newspapers 6 times

- interviewed for website 1 time

- on TV at least 8 times

- on radio at least 4 times

- on a blog at least 6 times

- received unsolicited cash donations on trip 11 times (1 time while pedaling!)

- 2 flat tires (both on trailer)

- 2 accidents (both throwing Sadie out of trailer - I was unaffected)

- 1 near accident (both Sadie and I would have been affected)

- 1 police escort into a city

- 1 bike breakdown requiring pickup

- 2 days biking in the rain

- 1 unsolicited offer to provide us lodging in their home

- 2 unsolicited offers to provide a meal and rest in their home

- 2 gifts of fresh fruit while passing by

- 2 offers to buy me a meal at a rest stop

- and my favorite: 3 meals at Subway!!

Read about the entire trip from Sadie's perspective at her blog.

 

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Regional News: New England

Help ECGA Promote Rails-with-Trails in New Hampshire


The 16-mile route of the ECG in coastal New Hampshire will ultimately use a rail corridor linking Massachusetts with Porstmouth, NH. A few miles are in state hands but the rest of the rail right-of-way is still privately owned. Freight service seems to have ceased, but as it is still technically "active rail", we are pursuing a state law that will help grease the skids for rail-with-trail implementation. ECGA partners, the Bike-Walk Alliance of NH (http://www.bwanh.org) and the NH Rail-Trail Alliance are spearheading passage of this bill, patterned on one recently adopted in Maine. It eliminates the 'liability' obstacle that often undermines a rail-with-trail option.

Help support passage of this bill by clicking here to read more about SB 203. NH residents can click here to find contact info for their state representative and senator in order to request their support for the bill.



Rhode Island

Re-Opening of Providence Bridge Eliminates Key ECGA Gap (Temporarily)

The Washington Bridge carres I-195 across the Seekonk River between the cities of Providence and East Providence, and the narrow separated path on the bridge also carries the East Bay Bike Path (part of an ECG alternate route) into Providence. Recent construction forced the closure of that path, hindering access to the East Bay, but now the path is open once again. It will close again, however, when construction of the George Redman Linear Park on the bridge reaches a new phase. Learn more about the project here, and we will keep you apprised.



Maine's Downeast Sunrise Trail Nearing Completion, Despite the Beavers


Earlier this year, the eastern 49 miles of the 85-mile-long Down East Sunrise Trail (DEST) was opened to winter activities after a productive construction season in 2008.  After the snow melted, the trail was closed for construction to resume and final surface and bridge work to be completed.  

As of June, 2009 the following had been accomplished:

·   49 miles of rail removed from Ayers Junction in Pembroke to the Harrington/Columbia town line

·   Approximately 150,000 ties removed

·   11 bridges reconstructed

·   110 new culverts installed

·   68,000+ feet of ditching completed

·   40,000+ feet of corridor built up to resolve flooding issues and poor soils

Competing with the humans trying to prepare this corridor for cyclists and walkers were the efforts of a group of resident 'engineers'. This area has seen a resurgence of beavers. Maine Department of  Conservation (DOC) Project Manager, Charlie Corliss had this to say about the beavers:

"They are surely persistent to say the least. In many cases where beaver dams had flooded the rails or plugged culverts, before work could be done water levels had to be lowered.  After issuance of a permit from Maine Inland, Fisheries & Wildlife to remove beaver dams, many dams were lowered by hand to allow the water levels to drop. In most cases the beavers would be back that night and rebuild what had been removed that day.  Then the next day would be spent removing what the beavers had rebuilt the night before."

The Maine DOC is installing special 'beaver diverters' on the ends of culverts. In some instances the beavers will have to be trapped alive and relocated.

Seeing completed trail on the ground is a celebration for those who started planning and advocating for this trail 20 years ago.  "We are all a little grayer now, but we have lived to see the trail actually become a reality!" said Sally Jacobs, representing the Sunrise Trail Coalition.

As the various trail segments are completed this summer, celebrations will mark their opening for bicyclists, ATV's and walkers.  It is hoped that the entire trail will be open for multi-use, year-round business by the fall of 2009. 

beaver

Although not on the DEST, here is a beaver crossing the path of a bicyclist plotting ways to submerge this rail-trail in Western Maine, (June 2009)

One of the 11 bridges restored to date along the eastern section of the rail-trail in East Machias, Maine, (May 2009).

 

Many of the railroad-era granite box culverts had collapsed.  Here a pipe culvert was installed with shaped granite stones providing support.

 



Scenic Farmington Canal Heritage Trail Makes Several Leaps Forward


This spring has seen a flurry of progress on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.   A study, funded by a state grant, has begun on development of the trail through Plainville, one of the few reamaing gaps on this trail north of New Haven. Federal stimulus money has been assigned to construction of another section of the Farmington in Southington.   Farther south, Hamden opened a new piece of its trail earlier this year, extending the trail to the New Haven city line.   New Haven will open a new section in late summer or early fall, joining the City to Hamden.   And the southernmost portion of the route, from Yale University to Long Wharf (on Long Island Sound) is currently in preliminary engineering.   A recent public meeting gave a sneak peek at some of the options being explored by the City and its contractors, Milone & MacBroom and Dean Sakamoto Architects. With some on-road routing, the Farmington offers one of the nicest day or even weekend trips in New England (with easy access from NYC via MetroNorth -with bicycle access).  



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Regional News: Mid Atlantic


New York

East Coast Greenway Featured on the 2009 NYC Cycling Map

NYC's Departments of City Planning and Transportation annually prepare and distribute a free map to indicate the best off-road and on-road routes for bicyclists. This year's version marks the "spine" route of the East Coast Greenway, with ECG logo and Website, from the Westchester border south through the Bronx and Manhattan and west into New Jersey. A list of bike shops offering bike rentals is provided on the map.

A new and improved ECG on-road link between Van Cortland Park and the Broadway Bridge is shown as a Class 3 Bicycle Route and has also been signed by NYCDOT. Thanks to DOT staff for their work in identifying and signing this route which is a little longer but much safer and more interesting than our former route which used busy Broadway. The annual Bronxville to the Battery Bike Tour held on May 31st used this new route and the over 80 participants loved it. (Thanks to Carl Hamman for organizing this ride.)

Copies of the Cycling Map (300,000 were printed!) are available free from NYC bike shops. Or view the map, as well as the activities of the NYC Bicycle Network Development (BND) Program, online at www.nyc.gov/planning or www.nyc.gov/dot . To receive NYC DOT's e-newsletter, visit www.nyc.gov/dotnews and click the Bicycle Information box.

NY June Ride
John Mattera of NYC Parks (3rd from right) and Holly Haff of NYC DOT (4th from right) participated in the June New York tour.


ECGA Issues First in Series of Weekend Trip Planners


ECGA's new "Weekend Trip Planner/NYC" offers six itineraries, two for walkers and four for cyclists, for users ranging from families with small children to experienced road cyclists.

Posted here, the planner (a print version is also available free by calling Kitty at 401-789-4625) is accompanied on the above web site by downloadable individual supplements providing much more detail on each itinerary. ECGA aims to produce similar maps for other locations where much of the Greenway is complete on traffic-free trails.


ECG Members in New Jersey Get Discounts at Bike Shops and Other Businesses

 

Our New Jersey Committee for the East Coast Greenway has initiated a pilot membership card program for their state's East Coast Greenway members. These cards entitle members to discounts at certain local bike shops and other businesses along our route who have signed onto this program. Our NJ volunteers are working to expand the list of participating businesses.   Our New Jersey Committee is seeking to increase its membership base in order to involve more people in the process of implementing and using the East Coast Greenway through the state.  

 


New Jersey is First State to Complete Signing Entire ECG Through State!

In April our NJ ECG Committee, including Mike Dannemiller, Mike Kruimer and Michael Oliva, installed East Coast Greenway signs through the City of Newark. The Newark Division of Traffic and Signals provided staff and support for this installation. A big thank you goes out to the Director Jack Nata and his wonderful staff for all their help in making this possible. These signs complement our cue sheets and the NJ ECG trail guide released last year and will give our users added confidence on the ground to follow the route of the East Coast Greenway in New Jersey.  

The route through Newark takes users past significant sites including Newark Penn Station, The Prudential Center, Rutgers University, the Newark Museum and the Ironbound District. The route and signs through Newark are very visible.

When the committee finishes installing East Coast Greenway signs through the City of Trenton in July the entire Current Travel Route of the East Coast Greenway through New Jersey, from Newark to Trenton will be fully signed!   (Our route to NYC is currently via PATH trains or NJ Transit from Newark, or one can exit in Jersey City at Exchange Place and take a ferry to Manhattan.   Consult our free NJ Trail Guide available from ECGA by calling 401-789-4625.)

New Jersey Seeking Volunteers for ECG Bike Corps

New Jersey is seeking volunteers interested in serving on an ECG Bike Corps to ride the route to ensure our signage remains in place and to check our cue sheets.   Training will be provided.   If interested, contact Mike Oliva, our Mid-Atlantic Trail Program Coordinator at mike@greenway.org .

Check out all the happenings of our  NJ Committee at www.greenway.org/nj.php.

 

East Coast Greenway Partners with Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) on May ECG Summit

Over the past two years the ECGA and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) have worked in close collaboration to advance our route in Pennsylvania.   Key area funders have also been important partners in this endeavor, especially the William Penn Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.   Thanks to this work, our route through Pennsylvania, still largely on road, may be our most advanced state route in just a few years.

PEC is a statewide environmental non-profit, one of the nation's most effective.   PEC shares the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources' vision of a statewide greenway network. By working with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Council is creating the Southeast PA segments of a pedestrian and bike path that will connect 3,000 miles of urban areas from Maine to Florida and will anchor its larger statewide system from this most urbanized corner of the state.

Work is progressing on three Greenway segments: along the Delaware River in and north of Philadelphia, an important connecting segment through Center City Philadelphia, and along the Schuylkill River basin south from the existing Schuylkill River Trail into Delaware County. One mile along the Schuylkill has already opened for use, just south of the art museum and Waterworks.

On May 8 th an ECG Summit was held to size up progress and explore ways to move ahead more effectively.   Jon Orcutt, Senior Policy Advisor to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's DOT, gave a keynote address about the incredible leaps that New York City has taken in recent years to build up its trail and bicycle facility networks.   Jim Sayer, Executive Director of the Adventure Cycling Association, the nation's largest recreational cycling organization, talked at lunch about landmark trail and bicycling networks in North America and the emerging US Bicycle Route System.

Panel discussions included:

Regional discussions of Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware counties

Project Management, Design and Maintenance Issues

Economic Development and Funding

Tourism, Historic and Cultural Opportunities

Other collaborators at the Summit whom we will continue to work with to bring the Greenway to completion include the Bicycle Coalition, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Center City District, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Delaware River City Corporation, neighborhoods groups, and many others.

Click here to see photos from the recent East Coast Greenway Summit.

Click here to see video of the Mayor's Bike Ride on May 8th. 

Check out interviews from East Coast Greenway Summit Speakers and Participants by clicking on the attachment links below.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE RECENT EAST COAST GREENWAY SUMMIT

http://www.pecpa.org/eastcoastgreenway



Met Branch Trail updates


Construction Begins on Major Section of Metropolitan Branch Trail in DC

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein broke ground for a new section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) that will stretch from Silver Spring to Union Station, offering commuters an alternative to the congested beltway for their daily commute. It will also close a key gap in the East Coast Greenway that the Alliance has been advocating for for many years. 

When completed, the new 1.5 mile addition will lead pedestrians and bikers over Florida Avenue, under New York Avenue and over Rhode Island Avenue, avoiding 18 lanes of heavily traveled roadway. Construction on this section, from New York Avenue to Franklin Street NE, is expected to be completed this summer. Ultimately, the trail will connect to metro stations at New York Avenue and Union Station, as well as the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, upon completion of  a bicycle/ pedestrian bridge.

The MBT will connect to the the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System and the National Mall (segments of the East Coast Greenway) and will also link to the Capital Crescent Trail.   It will provide direct access to seven of the DC Metro's Red Line stations and to the Marc trains in Silver Spring.

 

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Regional News: South Atlantic


Wilson Bridge Bike Path Gets Rolling


A bike lane on the newly opened Woodrow Wilson Bridge stretching across the Potomac and linking   Alexandria, Virginia to Maryland   was inaugurated in early June.   This was a National Trails Day event of real significance. Politicians joined bicycle advocates to make the crossing on the 1.1-mile long span from Alexandria to a new overpass on the Maryland side, near National Harbor. They cut ribbons, gave speeches and ate ice cream to mark an achievement that spanned 15 years of collaboration by Maryland, Virginia and the District. The 12-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path across the bridge has viewing areas, benches and telescopes pointed across the Potomac to the area's landmarks. At rush hour, cyclists should be able to speed past stopped traffic.   The bridge had previously restricted bicycle access. It links to the ECG spine route in Alexandria, along the Mount Vernon Trail.

  (Source:   Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post Staff Writer.)


 


East Coast Greenway Taking Shape in Virginia


With an $85,000 grant awarded last year by Virginia Department of Transportation to produce a Trail Guide for the ECG in Virginia, the ECGA has been moving ahead to resolve some routing issues and develop the base data for this map.    A series of six regional meetings were held this spring engaging local stakeholders in discussions on the current travel route and the traffic-free future route.  ECGA South Atlantic Regional Trails Coordinator Steve Bevington and ECGA Trustee David Brickley provided leadership for these meetings.  This route will be featured in the Virginia Travelers Guide to be published early next year.  Digital maps of the in terim route are available online for the Historic Coastal Route from Richmond to Chesapeake and the section from Richmond to Quantico .  These maps reflect the planning meeting comments and some active feed-back from on-the-ground volunteers.

In addition to these meetings, stakeholders meetings were held along the route of the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor south of Petersburg to solicit input on the preferred location of the trail/greenway with respect to the rail corridor.  A greenway has been proposed to parallel the rail corridor and could become the future East Coast Greenway between Petersburg and Raleigh.  The project team has documented experiences and relationships between existing trails and the communities and private properties near which they run, available at this link.

Thanks to the  The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and  the Virginia Department of Transportation's Enhancement Program for supporting this publication through funding Federal Highway Administration. 

 


Cary Greenway to Join East Coast Greenway


Cary Officials Endorse Cary Greenway as Part of the East Coast Greenway

On Thursday, May 28, the Cary Town Council unanimously approved endorsing the use of a Cary greenway corridor as a segment of the East Coast Greenway.   The Town is now working with ECGA officials and state and national agencies to select the corridor that will best serve as par of the ECG system.

Mary Henderson, director of Cary's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources department stated, "We're honored to join in this national initiative to connect our beautiful resources and local greenway users with communities along the eastern seaboard. Participating in this national initiative is just one of the ways the Town is going the extra mile to promote healthy living and a better quality of life for our citizens." East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Karen Votava is delighted to hear the news.   "We have been working with trail stakeholders in the Triangle Area for many years in support of the now extensive network of trails that will either be a part of our Maine to Florida route or will link to it.   Our vision is an interconnected system of trails along the eastern seaboard of which our ECG serves as the north-south spine," stated Ms. Votava.    Eric Weis, ECGA Trail Program Coordinator, summed up the ECG vision: " We want to make it possible for people to not only be able to walk or bike to the town center, but to go to the next town or possibly even to the next state...And for those who are more adventurous and have the time, they could see the entire East Coast on foot or from the seat of their bicycle."  

 

Perrin's Path in Myrtle Beach to Get Important Investment

The city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is looking to spearhead a $300,000 project that is slated to make a local section of the East Coast Greenway one of the most aesthetically appealing parts of the ECG. This local trail, known as the Perrin's Path bike trail, runs parallel to U.S. 17 from 48 th to 62 nd avenues North in Myrtle Beach. The $1 million trail was built eight years ago with federal grants. The city is applying for more money for new improvements, but so far, it hasn't been successful. New features would include a trailhead, amphitheaters and fountains.

Organizer and landscape architect Nick Peters stated "We want to make this special...something great for our community." The trailhead would provide shade and a place where bikers and joggers could stop for a drink of water. The small amphitheater would allow teachers a space to hold classes, and the picnic benches will hopefully attract families," Peters added.

Monetary issues have halted the project as Myrtle Beach City Planner (and strong ECG supporter) Jack Walker stated.   They have raised about $12,000 for the project, less than 5 percent of the money they'll need for the improvements.   With the dwindling economy, donations have been sparse and the challenge will be significant. Despite this, they have started improvements with the   funds in hand.  

In recent weeks, organizers along with students from Carolina Forest High School went into an area near the Market Common to cut down trees. The developers were planning to put more houses in the area, so the students helped save the trees that would have been demolished and moved them to Perrin's Path.

"We're still trying to get the word out there about what we're doing," Walker said. "Not many people know about this at all."

Walker said "It's a gorgeous trail, and it's a great place to go to be in tune with nature."   But, the public has not yet gotten into using this new trail.  

The new features of the trail would include the trailhead where bikers and joggers could stop for shade or a drink of water. The small 30-seat amphitheater would allow teachers a space to hold classes, and the picnic benches will hopefully attract families, Peters said.

Their plans also involve using environmentally friendly materials for the trail. Coquina rock will be used instead of asphalt, and solar panels will be part of the trailhead. "Everyone's heard and read about the green push," Peters said. "We're going to make this as natural as possible. This is a great way to show the community what the green push is really about."

 

 
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  Calendar

July 17-24, 2009
Appalachian Trail Biennial Conference
Castleton, VT

July 22-26, 2009
Rails to Trails 7th Greenway Sojourn

July 25, 2009
Route 113 Heritage Corridor Bicycle Ride to benefit the Heritage Conservancy

August 19-21, 2009
Safe Routes to School Conference
Portland, Oregon

August 27, 2009
Sustainable Trails and Greenways
September 6, 2009
Golden Apple Ride, Westchester County Bike Club
Westchester, NY

October 7-9, 2009
Walking and Liveable Communities 2009
International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities

For more information on all of these events, please click here.

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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 (401) 789-4625.

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